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Long-time Falconite enjoys fishing and service to fire district

The son of a military family, Dan Kupferer was used to moving frequently as a child and never had a place to call home until he moved to Colorado.Shortly after Kupferer was born (1948) in New Albany, Ind., his father joined the U.S. Air Force. “We went to Newfoundland for three years and then moved every two years or so after that,” he said.Most of his memories stem from time his family spent in South Dakota. Kupferer’s father was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, S.D., where he graduated from Douglas High School in 1966. “Rapid City had its own high school, and the base was out on the plains, so about 95 percent of the kids at my school were from Air Force families,” he said. Kupferer said he recently attended his high school reunion. “If it wasn’t for the Internet [we would have never found anyone],” he said. “Everyone scattered. It’s not like anyone lived there.” With a graduating class of about 70 students, he said they combined all the 1960s classes to have enough people for a reunion.After high school, Kupferer attended a year of college at South Dakota’s School of Mines before his dad was transferred to Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill. There, Kupferer attended Belleville Area College, now Southwestern Illinois College. “I attended a bunch of colleges, but never finished any of them,” he said.In the summer of 1967, Kupferer’s father was transferred to Ent Air Force Base, which closed in 1976, and the family moved to Colorado Springs. Because the younger Kupferer had a good job as a civil engineer, he stayed behind, and eventually met his wife, Carol.He and Carol were introduced through mutual acquaintances in Dupo, Ill. and married a year later. They moved to the Colorado Springs area in 1971 and to Falcon in 1978.In Colorado, Kupferer found a job working as a draftsman with G.L. Williams and Associates and joined a group of engineers working on the Cimarron Hills development – the same development where his parents bought a home.He stayed with G.L. Williams and Associates for over three years. After leaving there, Kupferer worked for five other engineering firms in multiple areas as a draftsman, designer, developer and surveyor.One of the firms, Costin Engineering, based out of Denver, hired Kupferer as a designer, and he eventually became the company surveyor and later the branch manager when the company expanded to Colorado Springs in what Kupferer references as “the great depression of the late 80s.” Despite Colorado Springs national reputation as the foreclosure capital of the world, Kupferer said he always found work.After Costin Engineering failed to join forces with another firm, KLH, Kupferer changed companies and moved to KLH, where he met current business partner Bob Martin.Martin, a former city engineer, and his wife, Carole, owned Land Development Consultants Inc. Kupferer and Martin had worked on several projects together and then formed a partnership.They quickly expanded to Arizona after Kupferer and Martin bought out a small engineering company in Bisbee, Ariz., in 2002. They renamed the company Arizona Land Specialists and grew from three employees to 12. “We had always talked about being more diverse than just Colorado Springs,” he said. “Because different places have different economy cycles, we thought that if work ever slowed in Colorado, we could develop work down there [in Arizona].”When Kupferer wasn’t busy building his partnership in Colorado and Arizona, he was putting out fires at home – literally. In 1980, he joined the Falcon Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and became an assistant fire chief until he retired in 1999.After retiring, in 2000, Kupferer joined the Falcon fire department’s board of directors. He didn’t run for re-election in 2004, but in 2005, one of the members resigned, and Kupferer was asked to return. He was appointed to the position for a year, and this past May he won a re-election by four votes. “Every vote counts,” he said.Kupferer and his wife, who has retired as a secretary and bus driver for School District 11, enjoy fishing and spending time with their three grandchildren.A little more on Dan KupfererWhat’s your favorite thing about Falcon/Colorado?Started out as a small community – real close knit; it has the opportunity to stay that way if people would get involved in their community.What’s the definition of success?To be happy; like your work, like your family and like the people you associate with.What’s your favorite vacation spot?Bass fishing on a lake or Reno or Las VegasWho are your favorite sports teams?Broncos and RockiesWhat’s your favorite TV show(s)?“That 70’s Show” and “Desperate Housewives.” My all-time favorite show was the “X-Files.”

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