Bill Kurpius-Brock, age 70, passed away the morning of January 18, 2013, at his home in Crookston, MN. Bill, the son of John and Bernadette (Stefonik) Brock, was born in Washington, D.C. on June 27th, 1942. At the tender age of seven, Bill’s father suddenly passed away due to heart disease. Bernadette then became a single mother to him and his younger brother, Richard. Bill attended a Catholic military boarding school near Manassas, Virginia and graduated from the school in 9th grade as an army lieutenant. After his graduation from boarding school, he attended Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. While at Northwestern, Bill was active in football and especially wresting. He won numerous titles and became the 1960 Metropolitan Wrestling Champion. That same year, he was voted the Northwestern Sweetheart Homecoming King.
After high school, Bill continued his education at a community college in suburban Washington, D.C. where he became involved in a Christian youth organization called “Youth for Christ”. While in this program, he accepted an invitation to move to Salem, Oregon, to assist in running a similar program called “Young Life”. He transferred to Western Oregon University and ran the Young Life program where he set up summer camps, clubs, and worked with congressmen and city officials in Bible study. Bill graduated from the college with a bachelor’s degree in education, and continued on to get his master’s degree in administration. His education career consisted of teaching English, social studies, theatre arts and coaching wrestling in Washington, D.C., Oregon, and finally Minnesota. He then returned to Oregon and worked as a police officer, eventually becoming a deputy sheriff. Following his stint in law enforcement, Bill returned to Minnesota and began to work in Child Protective Services.
In 1986, he became the Polk County Social Services Director and moved to Crookston. That same year, he went on a blind date and met his future wife, MaryJane. Bill and MaryJane were married on November 7, 1986 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston. The couple was blessed by the birth of their two daughters, Larissa Jane and Marinda Lee. In 2000, he attended Northland College and pursued a final career in nursing. After his graduation in 2003, he was briefly employed at Valley Memorial Homes in Grand Forks, ND. Due to issues with Bill’s health, his time as a nurse became limited. He fought through a myriad of medical problems, eventually culminating in a multiple myeloma cancer diagnosis in February of 2011. Bill endured much pain and adversity in his life, but he never gave up the fight. Throughout all of it, his true passion was his family. In Bill’s words, “I am a Christian. That really has made all the difference in my life, and I love my family very, very much. I am very blessed. God has become so real to me through everything, and has taught me a lot about life, never taking anything for granted...”
He is survived by his faithful wife of twenty-six years, MaryJane, and his three daughters, Kara Honebrink, Champlin, MN, Larissa Kurpius-Brock, Crookston, MN, and Marinda Kurpius-Brock, Fargo, ND. He also leaves four grandchildren to mourn his passing, Vincent Nash, Maxwell and Nicholas Honebrink of Champlin, MN, and Kendra Strommen, Crookston, MN. Other loving family members include his brother, Richard Brock, McIntosh, MN, his father-in-law, Edward (Delores) Kurpius, Crookston, MN, and his sister-in-law, Connie (Lee) Hannesson, Crookston, MN, and her children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law, Marjorie Kurpius, Ada, MN, and his beloved dog, Angel.
Bill’s funeral will be Wednesday, January 23rd at 4 PM, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Crookston. Visitation will be at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston on Tuesday from 5-7 PM, with a 7 PM Prayer Service, and also one hour prior to the funeral on Wednesday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Crookston. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.