SHOREWOOD – Will County Sheriff candidate and former Deputy Chief of Special Operations Ken Kaupas died Saturday.
Kaupas, 58, of Shorewood and previously Plainfield, served in various roles in law enforcement for most of his life.
He played football at Western Illinois University, earned his master's degree in criminal justice and was a proud member of Sigma Phi Fraternity, according to his obituary. Immediately following graduation, Kaupas joined the Illinois State Police and was the youngest Illinois state master sergeant to pass the captain exam.
Kaupas retired from the state force in 2009, after 30 years of service, and then served as deputy chief of special operations for the Will County Sheriff's Office from 2010 to 2014. He also narrowly lost the Will County Sheriff's race in November 2014 to Democrat Mike Kelley.
“It was a hard-fought race,” Kaupas previously said. “Next, I’m going to make up for some lost time with my family."
Kaupas coached his son, Brady's, Little League team for several years.
"Ken loved playing golf, softball, card games and the occasional good cigar," according to the obituary. "He also enjoyed riding his Harley and watching the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls for whom both teams he provided security details."
Kaupas is survived by his wife of 20 years, Shelly; son, Brady; daughter, Jena Guzman; grandchildren; mother; sister; nieces; nephews; cousins; and "a lifetime of great friends."
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Overman-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 15219 South Joliet Road, Plainfield, and funeral services will be at 10 a.m. the following day at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Risen Lord Cemetery, 1501 Simons Road, Oswego.
Kaupas' family said memorials can be made for Brady's future education or the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation at www.isphf.org.