Legends of the Hesperia Recreation and Park District have had their names attached to several key district facilities. Now joining the likes of Bakker, Novack, Shearer and Coleman will be Richard Lupton, the popular three-term board member who died last year.


Richard Lupton Soccer Fields, which will be the first lighted soccer fields in the city, are set to open at the future Maple Park by late summer.


"Whenever you have the opportunity to title something after somebody you look for someone who has done great deeds," said Cal Camara, the district's general manager. "Richard was available to us, and he was very positive. His way of contributing was to be very involved and supportive on a day-to-day basis."


Construction is currently underway for Maple Park with turf being planted this spring. The first phase will include the lighting and parking lot surface. Phase 2 will feature a pedestrian and bike path around the park, Camara said.


During its March 10 meeting, the board of directors voted to name the field in memory of their former board member. Earlier, in February, the board voted to place Lupton's name on an eligibility list, which paved the way for the recent vote.


According to Camara, the key eligibility requirement is that a person must serve on the board for a minimum of 15 years. Lupton, who Camara believes would have been reelected to a fourth term, had served for nearly 16 years.


"He met that criteria pretty easily," Camara said.


A retired Hesperia firefighter, Lupton was known for his direct communication style and affable nature.


"He loved to coach, and at the very least watch his grandkids play soccer and baseball. He was very supportive of staff all the staff. He was very available to everybody."


Camara believes the park district has greatly benefited from the likes of Lupton and others who devote their time and energy to the betterment of the city's youth.


"I have been very blessed with having board members, each and every one of them who have been major contributors to the system. Hesperia's been really lucky to have park board officials who care."