Tragedy strikes Hupp family; friends can contribute in many ways

By Kaycee Monnens Cortner, Assistant and Special Sections Editor

On May 24, Bill and LaDonna Hupp of Huron were babysitting for their son and daughter in law, Trevor and Kelsey (Richter) Hupp at their home in Fort Pierre when there was an explosion inside the house. LaDonna and her infant granddaughter, Harper Hupp were killed instantly, and Bill died shortly after in the hospital. Harper’s two elder brothers, Myles (5) and Royce (3) were airlifted to the burn unit in Minneapolis. Trevor and Kelsey were at work when the incident occurred. Their home is a total loss.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but unofficial reports say that it was an unpredictable and unavoidable accident caused by an underground propane line.

Bill Hupp served as a Farm Loan Manager for Beadle County Farm Service Agency, and his career in the FSA brought him to serve the locations of Belle Fourche, Lake Andes, and Huron. LaDonna was the Farm Loan Chief for the South Dakota FSA for eight years, with her career spanning nearly four decades with the agency. She was one of the first farm loan managers in the state.

Bill and LaDonna raised four children together: Cassy, Trevor, Tarin, and Jacey. All of their children were very active in sports and rodeo, and the couple never missed an event. Bill, a former rodeo competitor himself, was a stalwart supporter of not only his own kids, but local up-and-comers. In recent months, he was in attendance at several of his two daughters’ goat tying clinics to lend the expertise he picked up in his decades around the sport.

LaDonna kept careful records during rodeo seasons and videoed each run, always making sure that any kids near her had a snack and were staying hydrated. She spent her recent years in retirement, sharing her time with family members across the state, including their five grandchildren.

The Hupps were serial volunteers for the Huron 4-H and High School Rodeos and Timed Event Championship during the South Dakota State Fair, once receiving the Heartland award for their years of time selflessly given. Bill also joined the SDSU Rodeo Coalition to give back to the program in which three of his kids competed, all of them earning national qualifications for the Jackrabbits.

Harper Hupp was showered in love during her short life by her older brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Myles and Royce are still being treated at Regions in St. Paul, Minnesota for their burns and lungs. Royce received the worst of the burns at 36 percent, while Myles’s burns are superficial. Royce was moved to the pediatric ICU to more closely monitor his struggling oxygen levels.

Bill and LaDonna Hupp are remembered by many in the rodeo world for their dedication to their family, friends, and the sport of rodeo. Courtesy photo
Kelsey Hupp is pictured here with Royce, Harper and Myles.

There are several ways to give to Trevor and Kelsey Hupp:


Venmo Kelsey’s sister, Taylor, for immediate costs while her boys are in hospital: @TaylorRFitch

Donate to the account set up in the Hupp name at First Dakota National Bank in Pierre.

Clothes of the following sizes can be dropped off at Beadle Co. USDA Service Center, Huron; The Scoreboard, Huron; Ignite Wellness Studio, Philip; Maier Meats-The Hangout, Fort Pierre:

Royce-3T-4. Shoe size 8

Myles 6 shoe size 12-1

Trevor pants 32×36, large. Shoes 11 11.5

Kelsey small/medium, pants 27-28, shoe 7.5

Attend the Hupp Family Benefit Auction in Philip, South Dakota on June 10