Work was just that to Bill Dupree — no goofing off or time for idle chitchat.
“He would plow forward and not to choose to waste his time on stuff that wasn’t productive,” said Barry Conner, America’s Home Place president, of his executive assistant.
“In doing so, he kept so many other people on track, without ever saying a word.”
Conner said he will remember Dupree, who died Thursday following a brief illness, as a “servant and peacemaker,” steadfast in his Christian faith, and personally, a “confidante and ally.”
“He was just the most calm, mild-mannered, kind person you’d ever meet ... but he was relentless in getting what he needed that was right and just,” he said.
A funeral is set for 11 this morning at Lakewood Baptist Church, 2235 Thompson Bridge Road, for Dupree. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Dupree, who was 64, was an Alabama native who served in the U.S. Army. He suffered a serious injury during the Vietnam War and ended up receiving the Purple Heart.
A Gainesville resident, he spent the last 25 years working for America’s Home Place.
His most recent accomplishment, according to his obituary, was the negotiation with the owners of Olive Garden and Cheddar’s Casual Cafe to sell land for new restaurants now being built on Dawsonville Highway at Beechwood Boulevard in Gainesville.
Olive Garden plans to open in June and Cheddar’s plans to open late this summer.
The restaurants are being built on 11 acres that used to be occupied by the Lakeshore Heights nursing home. Other development is planned in the Beechwood Crossing Shopping Center.
Dupree was a member of Lakewood Baptist and a volunteer for Good News at Noon, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.
He served as president of the Jaycees while living in Sigourney, Iowa, and at one time was a member of the Gainesville Jaycees.
Dupree loved playing tennis, golf and cheering on the University of Alabama in football.
Survivors include his wife, Sue, three daughters and three grandsons.