April 5, 1930 - Feb. 15, 2013
SOUTH BEND - Allen E. Hepler, 82, of South Bend, died Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in his residence, surrounded by his loving family.
Mr. Hepler was born April 5, 1930, in Nappanee to the late Mary Louise (Mays) and Fred Hepler and lived in the northern Indiana area all of his life.
On Aug. 14, 1965, in South Bend he married Marjorie (Gill) Sellers, his bride of 47 years.
She survives along with his children, Susan (Thomas) Fuller of Granger, Marcia (James) Smith of Oshkosh, Wisc., Thomas (Kathleen) Sellers of Granger and Michael (Taryn) Hepler of Warsaw; 10 grandchildren, Matthew Derbin, Christopher Sellers, Megan Sellers, Curtis Lake, Katelyn Sellers, Drew Sellers, Shay Hepler, Alexis Hepler, Ashlynn Hepler, and Aubrey Hepler; one great-granddaughter, Lydia Derbin; sisters Ruth (Merlin) Yoder and Donnabelle (Edward) Monhaut, both of Nappanee; and brothers Eldon Hepler of Jacksonville, Fla., Richard (Marlene) Hepler of Apache Junction, Ariz. and Pastor Russell (Ardala) Hepler of LaGrange.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Florence Fleck; and brothers Willard and James Hepler.
Allen, or Al, as he was fondly known, served his country proudly as a U.S. Marine before graduating from Findlay College. He retired as a Cost Analyst from EWI Inc. in 1993 after 14 years of service.
As a grandfather of 10, grandpa loved dancing with the grandchildren when they were young, teaching them how to hit baseballs and golf balls and supporting them in whatever hobbies they had. His newest pride and joy was his great-granddaughter who loved to visit "Papa."
Al loved coaching Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball. His players appreciated his knowledge of the game and learned a great deal from him.
He drove the shuttle bus for Notre Dame and St. Mary's for several years and enjoyed meeting all kinds of people. He also took every chance he could get to offer advice to the sports teams that he shuttled whether they asked for it or not. He also shuttled cars for Avis Car Rental for several years, transporting cars to and from Chicago.
An avid golfer, he loved playing golf with a group of retired friends once a week while laughing and sharing golf stories whenever he had a listening ear.
Al enjoyed gardening and growing strawberries. As a hobby he made homemade wine out of all kinds of fruit. He loved giving friends, family and acquaintances a bottle to try.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Heather Raines at Pinacle Athletic Club, the nurses at the Center for Hospice Care and his personal caregivers for their kindness and dedication through Al's illness.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Road, with his brother, Pastor Russell Hepler, officiating. Committal services and burial with military honors will follow in Highland Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Monday.
Memorial contributions may be made to Center for Hospice Care, 4220 Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 210, Mishawaka, IN, 46545. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at www.welsheimer.com.