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Peter Gerard Ruppert, 59, passed away unexpectedly on August 1, 2023. Pete was born in Oakland, California to the late Maureen and Jack Ruppert, and raised in a rather lively household with five other siblings. Pete was the beloved husband of Jessica Lumsden, his loving teammate and partner for over 30 years. Pete and Jess raised four children in East Grand Rapids, Michigan: Jack, Grace, Pierce, and Ben. While busy in his professional life, Pete always took the time to invest in all of his kids, challenging them in constructive ways to think big, set goals, and live life to the fullest. A true family man through and through.
For the many friends, associates, and family who had the privilege of knowing Pete, attempting to summarize Pete’s positive impact on those that he touched is beyond words. With deep humility and grace, Pete left his mark on this world in countless ways. A big believer in Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” quote, he made a conscious choice to be “in the game” in whatever he pursued. If he was involved, he was going to be fully committed. That included his role as husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, entrepreneur, business leader, mentor, author, teacher, and civic leader. The adjective “best” was used to describe Pete by so many in so many facets of life…a rare honor indeed, yet well-deserved. To quote a family friend, “After you spent time with Pete, you walked away wanting to be more like him”.
Pete founded and built successful businesses, playing an outfront leadership role in all of them. At the time of his passing, he was the founder/CEO of Fusion Education Group, an innovative education company launched in 2007 focused on the individualized needs of the student. Under Pete’s leadership, Fusion has grown to nearly 100 schools across the country, as well as a remote-learning division. Pete’s message to others about his own business journey was consistent. He espoused reaching for great heights, knowing that one would likely experience some failure, which in his mind was always the best teacher.
In addition to his work, Pete was the author of “Limitless: Nine Steps to Launch Your One Extraordinary Life”. He also co-founded “Armed Forces Thanksgiving”, an annual celebration event that raises money for military veterans throughout Western Michigan.
Building on his strong family foundation, Pete’s “Man for Others” values were further ingrained at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from DePauw University, where he served on the Board of Trustees. He then attended Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA.
Pete’s life can best be remembered by his huge smile and love for others. His happy place was enjoying the Rupperts and the Lumsdens on the cottage deck overlooking Lake Michigan with the American Flag flying beside him and a single-malt scotch in his hand.
While he will be missed by so many, Pete’s contributions truly made the world a better place, and his big heart and humble compassion for others will live on forever as his legacy.
Pete is survived by his wife, Jess, their four kids, Jack (27), Grace (24), Pierce (24), and Ben (17), and his siblings Leslie (Ruppert) Krehnbrink, Tim Ruppert, John Ruppert, Matt Ruppert, Sarah (Ruppert) Gigliello. He is also survived by his mother in law, Penny Lumsden, and Jess's siblings, Stew and Rick Lumsden. Lastly, he is survived by all his wonderful nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Friday August 4th from 3pm - 6pm at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Saturday August 5th at 11am at Mayflower Congregational Church, 2345 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.
The memorial service will be live streamed on Mayflower Congregational Church's website. The link is below.
“The Man in the Arena”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Mayflower Congregational Church Endowment Fund
2345 Robinson Rd. S.E., Grand Rapids MI 49506
Fusion Scholarship Foundation
72 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503
Armed Forces Thanksgiving
72 Monroe Center NW Suite B, Grand Rapids MI 49503