KITTANNING – Armstrong County officials last week not only honored a local man who served during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, but an individual who also in his youth worked on the construction of the Mahoning Dam.
During their Feb. 6 meeting, Armstrong County Commissioners Jason Renshaw and Pat Fabian proclaimed Feb. 14, 2020 as Benjamin G. Rupp Day in the county in observance of Rupp’s 100th birthday.
Born in 1920 near Dayton, Rupp is the son of William and Anna Belle Rupp. In his early years, he worked on the family farm and sawmill, and then joined the massive undertaking to build the Mahoning Dam along Mahoning Creek near Dayton.
“Dad had a hard worth ethic,” his daughter, Annette Rupp, told the commissioners last week. “We learned to work hard and take care of everything.”
Benjamin Rupp was joined at the ceremony by his daughter, Annette, and son, David Rupp, along with his caregiver and other family members.
After working on the dam project, Rupp served his country during World War II with the 80th Division, 318th Infantry, Company M. 3rd Battalion under General George S. Patton.
“He fought in battles in Normandy, France and throughout Central Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge,” the county’s proclamation states. “Mr. Rupp earned multiple bars and badges for shooting and marksmanship and received various medals including the Bronze Star, Good Conduct medal, American Campaign medal and the World War II Victory medal.”
“He was very proud to serve his county,” Annette Rupp said.
After returning home from the war, Rupp worked in various jobs before purchasing a car repair business in Kittanning where he worked until the age of 95.
The proclamation states that Rupp married Helen White in June 1947, and that he is the oldest member of the Concord Presbyterian Church. In addition to his two children, he has two grandchildren, a step-grandchild, three great-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.
Despite battling cancer and other health issues, Rupp was able to be in attendance at the ceremony.
The commissioners thanked him for his service to the nation and to the county.