Kyle Daniel Skorupa, 38, of St. Joseph passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at his home.
A gathering of friends and family and a memorial lunch will be held from 12 Noon - 3 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at the New Troy Community Center, 13372 California Rd, New Troy, MI 49119. Memorial contributions may be given to Blossomland Learning Center, 711 St Joseph Ave, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 or Living Alternatives for the Developmentally Disabled, 300 Whitney Street Dowagiac, MI 49047. Online condolences accepted at www.PikeFH.com.
Kyle was born on August 9, 1984 in Kalamazoo, the son of Daniel and Carolyn (Payne) Skorupa. Kyle modeled clothing for Meijer Ads. He enjoyed swimming, camping, traveling, flying on vacation, going to Disney, and watching cooking shows. Kyle loved people and had a great sense of humor.
Survivors include his parents: Daniel and Carolyn Skorupa; a sister: Cally (Eric) Wiest; and nephews: Will, Luke, and Landon Wiest.
Arrangements are entrusted to Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman.
From Kyle's Sister, Cally:
My brother Kyle passed away last week. He was 38 years old. Kyle lived with hydrocephalous and cerebral palsy. He was also wheelchair bound and mostly nonverbal, however he never let those debilitating conditions slow him down.
Kyle defied the odds throughout his life. When he was little and could not crawl or walk, he learned to scoot around on the floor, pulling himself around using only his arms. He would scoot all around the house. If I was upstairs in my room, he would scoot to the base of the stairs and make noises, calling up to me. I remember on a few occasions, dragging him up the stairs so he could play with me in my room. When Kyle was younger he loved to color and draw. He even learned how to write his name. He always wrote it the same way, three lines for the K, y, and l, and a circle for the e. He taught himself how to use a computer mouse. He could navigate all the activities when playing Mario Paint on the Super Nintendo. It was really amazing to watch him move the mouse around, select the color he wanted, fill in the picture and then use the erase button to start all over again.
Kyle enjoyed watching cooking shows and “cooking” along with the chefs. He was also always up for a car ride. He loved going places and participating in as much as possible. Kyle even flew on an airplane to Disney World three separate times. He loved Disney! A favorite memory from those trips is him sitting on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and whipping the steering wheel around like his life depended on it! This reminds me that I must mention he loved cars too.
As Kyle grew older, it became evident that a group home would be the best choice to suit his needs. He was a social guy and with school coming to an end and his big sister out of the house, life was getting a little dull. It also became harder to care for him as he was no longer the size of a child. We are so grateful to his Victoria Court family for all the love and care they poured over him for the last 13 years. Words cannot express our gratitude for the countless hours of care they gave to Kyle.
Kyle is missed. We miss his smile, his laugh, his enthusiastic, “Hi!” the moment he saw you. He had a good life. He lived life to the fullest and he loved to the fullest too. And we loved him. I take comfort knowing that he is in Heaven with our beloved Grandma Irene, or Grandma Bear, as we always called her. I know they were happy to see each other the moment he arrived.
Before I end, those who knew Kyle will remember that he loved watching Mister Rogers. I can’t help but feel that many of Mister Rogers’ lessons are the same lessons Kyle taught us. I will list 8 of those lessons now.
1. We have an obligation to help one another on this planet.
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.”
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”
2. Understand that everyone is fighting a tough battle, so be kind to all.
“Part of the problem with the word disabilities is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”
3. Love always wins.
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
4. We’re here to help others feel good about their own existence.
“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
5. Don’t obsess over being perfect – it doesn’t exist.
“Little by little we human beings are confronted with situations that give us more and more clues that we aren’t perfect.”
6. Cherish the little things in life.
“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of — moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”
7. Never give up.
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
8. Value yourself.
“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” Kyle was one of those people.