William G. `Billy' Hupfeldt Jr., 43, worked to raise awareness of ALS

August 09, 2004|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

William George "Billy" Hupfeldt Jr. who waged a campaign to increase public awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, died of the disease Thursday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Glen Arm resident was 43.

Receiving a diagnosis of the illness known as Lou Gehrig's disease in 2001, he retired from his job as senior district manager for Brasseler-USA, a dental surgical instrument company in Savannah, Ga., to spend time with his family.

He dedicated the rest of his life to increasing public awareness of the disease. He also volunteered for clinical trials in research projects at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

His wife of nine years, the former Katherine Ann Grabill, said her husband "just persevered with dignity and strength. He did whatever he could to fight the disease. He had these hopes that through the clinical trials at Hopkins he would be the missing link for a cure."

Added sister S. Kimberly Hupfeldt of Palmetto, Fla.: "He was the bravest person I ever knew."

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Hupfeldt was a 1980 graduate of Boys' Latin School and earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture at Ohio State University in 1985.

He was involved in the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Central Maryland. He and his wife served on that organization's executive committee, and they appeared on two local broadcasts of the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

He was vice president and treasurer of the Schluderberg Foundation, a group governed by the descendants of the founders of Esskay Quality Meat Co. The foundation provides grants to Maryland charities.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cathedral Church of the Incarnation, East University Parkway and St. Paul Street.

Other survivors include two young sons, William G. Hupfeldt III and Tanner Fox Hupfeldt, who live at home; his father, William G. Hupfeldt of Sanibel, Fla.; his mother, Nancy Kidder Christie of Towson; a sister, Juliet H. Miller of Ruxton; a brother, Christopher E. Hupfeldt of Haverford, Pa.; and seven stepsiblings.

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