William D. Kepner

William D. “Bill” Kepner, Sr., 76, of Oswego, passed away at 6:32 p.m., Saturday, December 3, 2022, at Labette Health.

William David Kepner was born on August 5, 1946, to Earl Emery and Betty June (Moore) Kepner in Chetopa, Kansas.  As a young boy, he grew up and attended a country school east of Chetopa.  He attended Columbus High School.

From 1966 to 1968, Bill served in the United States Army.  Following his service, he worked in the mining industry as a crane operator in silver, copper and salt mines in various western states.  He then returned to the Chetopa area, where he worked on a hog farm in Chetopa and then at Jackson Pecans until his retirement.

He was a Baptist.  While living in Utah, he was a member of a Four-Wheel Drive Club.  Besides spending time with his family, Bill enjoyed wade fishing in the river and listening to music from the 1950’s and 60’s.  He was affectionately known by family and friends as Papa Smurf.

On November 29, 1965, Bill and Vicki L. Hoza were united in marriage in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  They were together for 60 years.  She survives of the home.

Other survivors include:

Two sons – William D. Kepner, Jr. of Oswego, Kansas

Richard D. Kepner and his wife, Juanita, of Chetopa, Kansas

Nine grandchildren

Sixteen great-grandchildren

One brother – Mike Gatewood of Emporia, Kansas

One sister -Cathy Gatewood of Oswego, Kansas

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Tammi Lyn Kepner; two brothers, one sister, and one great-granddaughter, Denver Dean.

There will be a Celebration of Life at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 10, 2022, at the Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home of Chetopa with military honors presented by the Brown-Bishop, VFW Post 704 of Parsons.  The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m., Saturday, until the service begins.

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