AMerican Veteran 11

John Willard Shupe

September 25, 1936 ~ January 20, 2022 (age 85)


John W. Shupe, 85 years of age, passed away on January 20, 2022, at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was the son of the late George Clair Shupe and Bena Kennedy Shupe. He was also Preceded in death by brothers Walter C. Shupe and George C. Shupe, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gail Diane Griffith and by two sons, William Samuel (Michelle) and John Charles (Jianna); also grandchildren Jacob Owen, Sydney Olivia, John Preston, and Hannah Isabel.

John was born in Phoenixville, PA on September 25, 1936. He attended Penn State University, was a veteran of the United States Air Force, past president of the Greater Pinellas Park Chamber of Commerce, a 62-year member of Phoenix Masonic Lodge #75, Tall Cedars of Pennsylvania #34, and Tampa Scottish Rite and Egypt Shrine. He was also active in his church and in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouts.

His career started with the U.S. Government and was completed after 39 years with West Pharmaceutical Services where he started in the Metals Engineering, Tooling and Machine Design Group. He was a major contributor in the development of high-speed capping equipment and the most widely used pharmaceutical seal, the “Flip-Off Seal” which is the closure used on the Covid-19 vaccine. West also makes the rubber stopper – both are being used worldwide. He was transferred to St. Petersburg, FL in 1971 to start the manufacturing of the “Flip-Offs” and other aluminum seals. In 1981 he was Plant Manager of the newly built Clearwater Facility. After moving and consolidating metal operations from Chicago, IL and Phoenixville, PA. In 1990 he was promoted to Regional Manufacturing Director in charge of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and three operations in Vega Alta and Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. He became Corporate Director and was instrumental in the managing and upgrading of facilities, personnel, and processors with West International. He retired in April 1996.

In retirement he enjoyed traveling, cruising, and spending time with the grandchildren. He will be buried in Honey Brook, PA. Gifts in John’s memory would be appreciated by Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.

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