Retired Contra Costa Sheriff Warren Rupf has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
In his trademark, wry and witty voice, the 69-year-old East Bay native who served as his county’s sheriff for almost two decades, sent an email to friends and colleagues on Thursday.
He is exploring treatment options but the prognosis is grim for this type of cancer, he wrote.
“While rather morbid, this may be the only good news,” Rupf wrote. “When you buy this brand, you move rather quickly from check in to check out.”
Yes, Warren was an elected official and as a reporter, I kept my eye on him when he was in office.
But as I grew to know him over the years, I became terribly fond of him. When my son went into law enforcement, the sheriff offered his support and always remembered to ask about the young officer’s progress in the California Highway Patrol. (Warren tested with CHP as a young man but Contra Costa County called him first.)
From me and my family, Warren, we wish you and your family fair winds and following seas as you chart your way through this hazardous passage.
But as always, his own words are far better than anything I could come up with. I included the photos we used for a profile story on him when he retired in 2010 but here’s what he wrote via email:
Lt. Warren Rupf circa 1975
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Shipmates and others with whom I have shared so much,
I choose an e-mail to share what follows to reduce the likelihood that the message gets caught up in politics or locker room editing (also an opportunity to respond to the charges that Marines cannot read or write. ) Should you choose to offer any response, it also offers an easy to schedule means. I love you all but I am not excited by the idea of putting you (or me) on a path filled with sympathy cards and grown-man tears.
While some tests are still being evaluated and treatment options explored, both are rather grim. I have acute myeloid leukemia. While rather morbid, this may be the only good news. When you buy this brand, you move rather quickly from check-in to check-out. I hate long, slow-moving lines.
Warren Rupf as a young Marine
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.
I know that there are good men with whom I have lost electronic contact please consider sharing this with them as your paths cross and offer them my regards.
UPDATE: 3:46 p.m. Contra Costa Sheriff Dave Livingston sent this message to his department and other county offices:
As you may have heard by now, our friend and colleague, retired Sheriff Warren Rupf, has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He is currently undergoing treatment but is facing many challenges as he fights this disease.
Yesterday he shared his condition with close friends and relatives. His family has asked that we respect his privacy during these difficult times. He is not able to accept visitors or phone calls.
Please keep Sheriff Rupf, his wife Carole, and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers.
I will update you when we have more information.