Chris Zuppinger, 46, precision carpenter and devoted husband

Christoph M. Zuppinger of Chester, VT, passed away at his home on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 after a brief illness. He was 46. Mr. Zuppinger was born on March 28, 1966 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, a heavily forested 800-year-old town near the largest waterfall in Europe.

Chris and Karen Zuppinger

As a child, Mr. Zuppinger wanted to be an artist, his wife Karen recalls. But he was encouraged to go into other work, so in Switzerland he became a forester. But more than 20 years ago – in his new home of the United States – he turned that profession into an art as a carpenter. Eight years ago, Mr. Zuppinger founded Swiss Precision Remodeling. Karen Zuppinger recalls that her husband was especially proud of a poplar mantelpiece with cabinetry that he created for a client in Grafton and that he remodeled their entire large farmhouse in Chester in only two years.

Mr. Zuppinger continued in the fine arts by painting landscapes, which he happily gave away as gifts to friends and family.

Mr. Zuppinger loved to laugh and had a wonderfully dry sense of humor. Twenty years ago, Mrs. Zuppinger recalls, the two met one April day while working out at a gym in Colorado, where they both lived. Karen asked the stranger where he had gotten his panther tattoo, to which Chris replied, “What are you thinking about getting – my name?” That, she recalled, was the first time he talked to her. “I got the tattoo” Karen laughs, “But it wasn’t his name.”

Two weeks after their meeting, he returned to Switzerland, but returned in September and, in November, Chris asked Karen to marry him. They did, two months later, in January 1992.

Every day since, Karen recalls, she would tell Chris she loved him, to which he would reply, “I love you more.” Karen describes their love as “enduring.”

Chris and Karen next lived in New York City. But, recalls Karen, “We wanted to live in a place where people went on vacation, where we could live in paradise” and Chris always said that people referred to Vermont as “Little Switzerland.” Eight years ago, the couple moved to Grafton and two years ago, they bought the farmhouse in Chester.

Mr. Zuppinger will be remembered as a gifted artist, an avid outdoors man and Scrabble player, and a great husband, loving son, brother, uncle and friend. He is predeceased by his father, Hans Jorge Zuppinger.

Mr. Zuppinger will be remembered as a gifted artist, an avid outdoors man and Scrabble player, and a great husband, loving son, brother, uncle and friend.

Besides his wife Karen, Mr. Zuppinger is survived by his mother Gertrude “Truddi” Zuppinger and brother Thomas Zuppinger, both of Schaffhausen, nephew Jonas Zuppinger of Germany, and a host of family and friends who loved him deeply and will sincerely miss his light.

A memorial service in his honor will be held at the White Church, 55 Main St. in Grafton, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Following the service, a potluck reception will be held at a private home in Chester. Directions will be provided at the service. All warm dishes, salad, desserts or beverages are welcomed.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers please make a donation to the charity of your choice or plant a tree in Chris’s honor and memory.

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  1. Kerrie Spinrad says:

    He was one of the kindest souls we had the pleasure to call neighbor and friend. You will be missed Chris. Rest in peace knowing we’ll be here for your beautiful bride if she should need anything.
    Kerrie and Walt Spinrad

  2. Sharon Baker says:

    This is a beautiful tribute.