Friends, family lay Dupraz to rest
Family, friends, firefighters and alumni of The Daily Princetonian gathered Friday to bid a final farewell to Larry Dupraz, the longtime 'Prince' production supervisor and volunteer fireman.
Dupraz, who endeared himself to generations of 'Prince' writers and editors through his constant pursuit of perfection, died Christmas Eve morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly, Mass. He was 87 and had been suffering from heart disease.
Following the wake, a firetruck-led procession wound its way from the Kimble Funeral Home past the Mercer Engine Company No. 3 firehouse to St. Paul's Church on Nassau Street.
At St. Paul's, the Rev. Walter Nolan praised Dupraz for his devotion to God and his service to the country, the Township and generations of University students.
"He was so proud of his 55 years of service," Sean Greely, one of Dupraz's grandsons, said in a eulogy, praising Dupraz's volunteer work.
About 25 firefighters paid their respects at the wake and funeral. A navy fireman's cap rested on top of the casket.
In 1946, Dupraz, then an employee of The Princeton Herald, was assigned to work with The Daily Princetonian. He was initially a typesetter for the 'Prince,' but soon became a compositor and oversaw the entire production process.
"He would always tell us that we would never amount to much," said Peter Sandman '67, a former 'Prince' executive editor. "We always knew very quickly on that he never meant it."
Though Dupraz often complained that each successive board of editors was worse than the last, former executive editor Lou Jacobson '92, who had been driving to New York to see family when he heard about Dupraz's funeral, said Dupraz worked to bring the staff closer together.
Former editor-in-chief Christine Whelan '99 noted that Dupraz spent months creating the first-ever directory of former 'Prince' editors.
"He was a human encyclopedia for those who worked at University Place," Greely said, referring to the location of the 'Prince' offices. "He knew every detail."
During his six decades at the 'Prince,' the browbeating and constructive criticism that he dispensed came to be known as the Larry Dupraz School of Journalism, the closest thing to a professional school for generations of news-hungry young reporters at the University.
Greely joked how his grandchildren "also got to experience the Larry Dupraz schools of driving, poker and fence-building."
"He was a man who always stuck to his guns," Greeley added. "Once he made a commitment to something, he stuck with it his whole life."
"We spent more time working with Larry then we did with any professor," said Richard Rein '69, a former 'Prince' chairman.
"He put his heart and soul into The Princetonian."
Rein praised Larry's "incredible adaptability," which was evident when he managed the transition from hot lead type to "cold type" printing.
"He also led the way for desktop publishing," Rein added. "He was a more innovative guy than any of us thought."
"One of the things that really struck me with Larry is how he kept up with the technology over the years. He knew more about computers than most of us. It was very impressive," Jacobson said.
Earlier this year, Dupraz purchased a new iMac computer so that he could keep sending out his famously cantankerous emails, current 'Prince' editor-in-chief Chanakya Sethi '07 noted.
Dupraz shunned the spotlight, family and friends said, and he was reluctant to share stories of heroism or awards.
Recalling a fire in Little Hall several decades ago, Rein noted that Dupraz was "at the forefront of fighting that fire," yet afterwards came to help put out the paper that night.
Dupraz was interred in the cemetery behind St. Paul's. After prayers by Nolan, two members of the U.S. Air Force performed military honors for Dupraz, who served in the 351st Bomber Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group in World War II.
After the playing of Taps, the servicemen folded the American flag draped over Larry's casket and presented it to his daughter Claudia "on behalf of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force and a grateful nation."
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