WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., March 17, 2023 — West Liberty University alumnus Thomas Patrick Krupica Sr. published his first book recently entitled, “Titanic Lifeboat #6: Was it Deception or Regulations?”
A graduate of WLU’s College of Education and Human Performance, Krupica is a retired educator from Marshall County Schools where he had a long, successful career teaching grades 4 – 6. He taught there from 1978 – 2011.
“I was pleased to meet Tom and learn about his new book. We now have a signed copy in our alumni collection,” said Amanda Bennett, director of Alumni Relations.
A resident of Morgantown, W.Va. for the past six years, Krupica and his wife, Donna, moved to be closer to his adult children and their families.
Though Krupica majored in elementary education, he minored in history while at West Liberty and has maintained an interest in history his whole life. However, he didn’t come across the story of the Titanic till he was teaching his elementary age students.
“I became interested in the Titanic as I researched topics for the classroom, and I realized I hadn’t learned much about this tragedy in school,” Krupica explained. “However, it is a fascinating topic. There’s not just one thing, there are hundreds of thousands of things interesting about the Titanic.”
The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers, 1,517 individuals perished.
Krupica started the book 10 years ago and had to delay it several times for various reasons.
“A few years ago, I wrote a little piece on the Titanic and local connections. Mary Eloise Hughes Smith, 18, and her husband were newlyweds from Huntington and they were returning from a European and Egyptian honeymoon on the maiden voyage of this new ship.
The couple actually discovered that Mary Eloise was one month pregnant, so they cut their trip short and wanted to go home, traveling instead on the Titanic, rather than the Olympic, which is the ship that took them to Europe.
Unfortunately, Mary Eloise lost her 22-year-old husband, Lucian in the disaster. However, she survived by getting into Lifeboat #6 when the call went out for women and children to board the lifeboats.
“That West Virginia story inspired me to research and study the Titanic more,” explained Krupica.
When some of the lifeboats were discovered to be underutilized and #6 held about 25 passengers when it was designed to hold 65, a controversy arose.
“The focus of my book incorporates the lifeboat issue, why the lifeboat situation was what it was, and the results of the tragedy of the lifeboat controversy. Included in the theme are short biographies of the reluctant occupants of lifeboat #6, along with the connection to our great state of West Virginia,” Krupica said.
Krupica is a member of the Titanic International Society and a former member of the Titanic Historic Society. He has a large collection of Titanic memorabilia amassed over the years, including actual pieces of the mammoth ship. (It wasn’t till 1985 that the shipwreck was discovered on the ocean floor.)
However, according to Krupica, his favorite collectible is his first book that he ever read on the shipwreck, written by Geoffrey Marcus and entitled, “The Maiden Voyage.” The other book he relied on is “A Night to Remember,” by Walter Lord, written in 1955. It is based on actual interviews with the survivors and was written in 1969. Overall, Krupica has about 450 books in total that cover various aspects of the Titanic story.
Krupica is looking forward to speaking about his book and offering a book-signing at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 3, to promote his new book.
He is proud to be a WLU alumnus and invites any interested alumni to attend the event.
For more information pertaining to the book signing, please contact the library at 304-845-6911. Krupica’s book is available online at:
West Liberty University alumni founded its first alumni group in June 1877 with 103 members. From its beginning, the growth and development of the Alumni Affairs office has been dedicated to promoting the interests of WLU and strengthening loyalty as it fosters support among its graduates, former students and friends.
To reach Bennett, please email westliberty.edu/alumni, or visit WLU’s Alumni Facebook page found at WLU Alumni.