Denver native Tupper Briggs is a Baby Boomer and recalls, “Denver had to build four new high schools to accommodate us Boomers back in the 1960s. I graduated from George Washington High, got an accounting degree from Oklahoma State University, and was cordially invited into the army by my draft board. I became a Disbursing Officer because of my degree and ended up paying troops in the field in Vietnam.”

Tupper discovered his dislike for large organizations in the army and got a job as a real estate broker with a friend’s father on his return to Denver. The firm was small, and Tupper thrived, rising to office manager within two years. One day, at a closing for a client who bought a cabin in Evergreen, he met the owner of a real estate firm in Evergreen. Tupper managed the new Bergen Park office within a couple of months.

Cupid cultivated a plan, tasking Tupper to train the secretary at the Conifer office in bookkeeping. As it turned out, Tupper was smitten at first sight when he met Karla. “She was beautiful, sassy, confident, and full of life,” he remembers. Spotting a banjo next to Karla’s desk, Tupper asked if she played. She responded, “Not well, but I am taking lessons. That afternoon, Tupper bought a banjo at the local music store and showed up at her lesson that same night. “He hogged the entire lesson!” Karla recalls.

Karla was dating someone else at the time, but saw something she liked in Tupper, so they went out on a few dates that transitioned into exclusive dating. Their first official date was to a concert at Sloans Lake in Denver, and ‘their song’ became the “1812 Overture,” complete with cannons blazing.

From their first meeting, Karla was attracted to Tupper’s “niceness.” He claims, “No one ever accused me of being romantic, proven by how I proposed. Instead of revealing an engagement ring while on bended knee, I simply asked Karla if she’d like to get married after we had been dating for about a year.” Karla simply replied, “Yes.” They married on the first Friday in December 1978 at the Evergreen Lutheran Church on Hwy 73, the church Karla had attended since she was a child, and it remains the Briggs’ family church home.

Karla and Tupper in 1978
Karla and Tupper in 1978.

Packed with family and friends, they followed the newlyweds from the church to celebrate at their reception at Hiwan Country Club. “We couldn’t afford much then and we had to be back at work on Monday, so we planned a modest honeymoon at the Indian Hot Springs in Idaho Springs,” says Karla. “We had so much fun with our guests at the reception, we stayed until they left. When we finally arrived at the Hot Springs, they were closed for the night. Like Joseph & Mary, we searched for somewhere to stay and eventually woke up the cowboy night manager at the Argo Motel. He kindly gave us the only room on the second floor, which he dubbed the ‘honeymoon suite.’” The following day, the newlyweds took a romantic drive over Guanella Pass, spent their second night at the Fairplay Hotel “on a bed with the loudest springs in the state. We did make it home in time to report for work Monday morning,” Karla adds.

Karla grew up in Evergreen, and her father was an electrical engineer with Public Service Company. “Evergreen was a wonderful place to grow up. My brother, sister and I roamed the hills with our dogs. I always had pets, and when Tucker and I married, I grew our menagerie of animals to eventually include three dogs, two cats, two horses, a flock of chickens and an apiary full of honeybees.”

Karla always loved horses and pined for one throughout her childhood and beyond. When a family friend offered to sell Karla a sweet horse, it was love at first sight. Wanting Tupper to see the horse prior to purchase, he happily tagged along for a second viewing. “Karla invited me to test ride the horse, which I gladly did for her. I rode approximately 50 feet, struggled off the horse and told her, ‘I approve!’ And with that, every birthday wish and Santa list request Karla made since she was six years old finally came true,” he says.

The Briggs built their dream home on 10 acres near Evergreen Meadows to raise their two children, Megan and Ryan, and to accommodate their animals. “I worked 80 hours a week and Karla was a stay-at-home mom,” Tucker shares. “She was in her element running the household and living on our property that we christened ‘Heartsease.’ Karla never complained about my work schedule, but she had one firm rule: I had to be home for family dinner every night, then I read a book to one child while she read to the other. We alternated reading to Megan and Ryan as well as tucking them in every night.”

Of his beloved wife, Tupper claims, “Karla’s priorities are clear; God comes first, the kids come next, animals are close behind, and I fall in after, and I’m good with that. Karla’s an amazing shepherd of our family treasure, she’s a wonderful mother and one of the funniest people on earth. In addition to the love she has for her family, Karla also loves plants. She became certified as a Master Gardener through the Jefferson County Extension Service and CSU in Ft. Collins and has gorgeous gardens, including a standalone greenhouse.

“One day I came home to find our local fencing contractor walking the property and I asked him what he was doing. He replied, ‘Karla asked me to fence 2 acres of the land around the house with an 8-foot elk fence.’ The elk had raided Karla’s gardens for the last time. Her dedication to her horticulture grows beyond her own gardens as she loves the Evergreen Garden Club’s semi-annual tour and has participated in it three times and will again this coming July.”

Karla and Tupper on a recent trip to Alaska.
Karla and Tupper on a recent trip to Alaska.

Tupper retired from actively working with clients a decade ago, but he stills goes into the office to do accounting, a little marketing and push the broom a few times each week. Over the years, he created a team of six successful Realtors under the name, Tupper’s Team, and they still operate under that moniker today. “I’m starting to feel my age and Karla’s having to shoulder more chores around the property, but I still split a couple of cords of wood off our property to burn on cold winter nights, and we enjoy road trips in our travel trailer when the weather’s nice. Karla’s selfless caring and love are more evident than ever,” he says.

Karla and Tupper with grandkids in California.
Karla and Tupper with grandkids in California.

Karla reveals, “The years have passed quickly, and we continue to get happier and happier. We’ve kept our marriage together by liking each other as people, supporting one another through unconditional love—and maintaining a sense of humor is imperative. I loved growing up in Evergreen and didn’t want to live anywhere else. Tupper’s work as a Realtor meant never having to fear a job transfer and being able to stay in the town we both love. Our marriage is a partnership, and our family means everything to us, and we love being grandparents to our three grandchildren.”

Karla and Tupper with grandchild in Massachusetts.
Karla and Tupper with grandchild in Massachusetts.

Karla and Tupper demonstrate that true love is real, proving it can last at least 45 years and beyond.