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Tributes Mount for Former Sheriff Warren Rupf

Warren E. Rupf, 69, of Martinez succumbed to leukemia Thursday. He had retired in 2011.

Update: Aug. 11, Quotes from Paula Miller.

Tributes continue coming in for Warren Rupf, the retired Contra Costa sheriff who succumbed to leukemia this week.

Rupf, 69, who lived in Martinez and grew up in Concord, was "the epitome of what a sheriff should be," blogged Kristi Belcamino, a mystery writer and artist who knew Sheriff Rupf as a former reporter for the Contra Costa Times. "What a sheriff should act like and even look like. As sheriff … he had firm authority, but also a terrific sense of humor."

"He has/had many friends throughout the county and state as he was always involved not only in law enforcement but in many charitable activities as well," wrote Walnut Creek Patch reader Paula Miller in an email. "Giving back to the community he served was very important to him and through the Sheriffs Charities (which he established) he raised many thousands of dollars mainly for youth related activities. As a former state president of the County Sheriffs Association he was highly respected by his peers and those who served with and under him.

"Even though he was a giant in stature he was a gentle giant and a very humble man who shunned the limelight, so much so that he didn't want the usual obligatory retirement party thrown for him when he left office in 2011. He was the most unpolitical elected official that I have ever known and felt that he owed the voters who elected him the promise it play it down the middle and do the best job possible. A true Marine through and through."

In a recent email to friends, Rupf wrote, "Some will say that I should have retired earlier and enjoyed the good life. I say: Poppycock, my life could not have been any better. Be it Marine Corps, Office of the Sheriff, going toe-to-toe with a real labor leader or a beer at the slop chute with an old-school reporter, you made my list of those whom made my life one of few regrets," reported Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle.

An obituary for the 6-foot-6 sheriff on Martinez Patch drew some fond comments: "Always looking for ways he could better serve his fellow man, no matter who you were.

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