John Dupla

John Dupla, 76, a resident of League City, Texas passed from this life on November 25, 2023. He was born in Galveston,Texas on November 5, 1947 to parents, Victor Joseph Dupla and Agnes Marie (Enge) Dupla. John graduated from La Marque High School in 1966.  After High School, John joined the United States Army.  After completing boot camp at Ft. Benning , John was deployed to Vietnam. In Vietnam, he was a Dog Handler and Combat Tracker attached to the 1st Cav Div.  John served in Vietnam from 1967 – 1969 where he earned a Purple Heart.

After returning home, John became a Galveston Police Officer.   As a police officer, he met Mavis Peden and they were married in 1974.   In 1979, John became an electrician through IBEW Local 527.  He would remain an electrician till his retirement in 2012 from Celanese .  In those years he would work all over Texas, including working on skyscrapers in Dallas and the Nuclear Plant in Bay City.

John was very active in Vietnam veteran affairs.  He would attend reunions with the men who he served with in Vietnam.   In 2008, John was a guest of the New Zealand Prime Minister, sharing his experiences of being a dog handler.  He would give Interviews to anyone who asked, including for a movie documentary, War Dogs.  Also, John was an officer for his veterans group, VDHA.

On Friday nights, John could be found watching local High School football games. John enjoyed  going out dancing with friends, deer hunting, woodworking and watching Jeopardy. John had friends from all walks of life, who are going to miss his generosity and unique way of regaling stories.  He was affectionately called “ Papa John” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

John is preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 49 years.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, sisters Mary Dreyfus and Louise Lawson, son, Chris Dupla and wife, Brandi; daughter, Renee Aguilera & husband, George; two grandchildren,Andria Brooks-Dupla and Cordale Brooks-Dupla and two great-grandchildren, Paxton Cline and Finnley Cline.

In his honor, there will be a celebration of life on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Crowder Funeral Home in Dickinson, Texas.   Burial will be at a later date.


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. John was such an incredible man, a joy to be around. We had such fun listening to his stories. So many people are going to miss him dearly.
    Anita Butler and Kyle Sauer

    Anita Butler
  2. I only got to know John in the past few years. He was a nice , polite, fun guy. I can’t believe he has passed on this quickly. One of his many amigos, Carl Sckittone.

    Carl Sckittone
  3. We are so sadden by John’s passing.
    He was a true person in everything he did.
    We Will miss him and his helping spirit.
    Our hearts is with the family in healing this loss.
    Butler Longhorn Museum

    Butler Longhorn Museum
  4. I am very proud to call John a friend, who I will miss.

    Robert Konarske
  5. Our very sincere sympathy

    Dr. Keith & Diane Bellamy
  6. Heartfelt sympathy to you, John’s family. We will surely miss John and his dedication to educate the world to the specialty of Combat Tracker Teams. He spoke in many venues to let it be known that this secret entity was trained to the highest standards and saved many lives in the Vietnam War. John was one of the American volunteers trained in and deployed as a Combat Tracker attached to the fabled 1st Cavalry (Airmobile). Needless to say, Frank and I felt very close to John over the years and are sorry for his passing. Our prayers and love to all who knew and loved John.
    May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

    Frank and Sue Merritt
  7. John left the 62nd Infantry Platoon just before I arrived in-country in Vietnam. I first met him at a Vietnam Dog Handlers Association reunion. He was instrumental in getting an exception for me to join the association under their strict qualifying standards as I was not a dog handler but did attend Scout Dog Training at Ft. Benning, GA as Vet Tech. Several years later he nominated me for the association’s prestigious Warriors Medal Of Valor to be presented at the 2016 reunion in Branson MO. Unfortunately I was on a driving restriction due to being in rehab for a major shoulder surgery. If you knew John you’d understand what he replied. “Doc,” he said, “this is a real honor, so I don’t care how you do it, just get your ass out here next month!!” So my little brother got us out to Branson and back to PA. John I will miss our frequent phone calls, both of us checking up on one another. Hope to see again at our next Heavenly reunion, if they let me in.

    Russell “Doc” Walters
  8. John was the brother I did not have for the past 53 years. Words will never express the feelings I had for him. There will forever be a hole in heart until we meet again.

    Larry Fleenor
  9. Cuz’ Johnny, as I knew him, was larger than life. Gregarious, funny, smart, and teller of tall tales. I remember being in high school and showing my girlfriends a picture of Johnny after he joined the Army and at least two of my girlfriends had an immediate crush on him.
    My husband Al and I would host him when he was in the area and we always had a great time. He was always up for an adventure. When we visited family in Texas (Uncle Victor, Aunt Agnes, Louise, Victor Jr., John, and Mary Agnes) it was always a house full of activity and a huge cook out with John at the grill to top off the visit.
    I am stunned and so very sad to hear of his passing. Prayers to Louis, Mary Agnes, and all the Dupla clan from his kids, grand kids, and great grand kids. He took much pride in his family and in his military service. Please rest now Johnny and know that you were loved.

    Cathy Lind

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