Tributes & Vigils Category: Coronavirus Vigils
They were together for 73 years and died 6 hours apart — both from coronavirus
Wilford M. and Mary L. Kepler
Wauwatosa – Wilford M. Kepler, age 94, and Mary L. (nee Wheaton) Kepler, age 92, both died six hours apart on April 18, 2020 at Froedtert Hospital of the terrible Covid 19. Wilford was born on September 24, 1925 near Boaz, Wisconsin to E. Harvey Kepler and Elizabeth Bethke Kepler. Mary was born in Blue River, Wisconsin on April 29, 1927 to Clyde Wheaton and Mamie Bartels Wheaton.
Both graduated from Richland Center High School although Wilford was drafted and reported for duty in November before his class graduated in May of 1943. Mary graduated from high school in 1945 and from Alverno College in 1981. Wilford was a machinist at Harnishfeger where he worked for 35 years and mom worked as the Vice President of US Steel Supply, the first woman in such a position.
Wilford served as a Pharmacist’s Mate aboard the USS Wilkes Barre and saw heavy action in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He enjoyed his reunions with his Navy shipmates. Wilford loved to garden and enjoyed the two cottages that he and mom owned during their lives. Wilford volunteered at the VA Hospital for over 20 years. Both Mary and Wilford rooted for the Badgers and Packers, but Wilford had a strange love affair with the Cubs. Mary loved her flower gardens, enjoyed exercising and sports activities. Mary served on the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging.
They leave behind son Michael (Mary Beth Keppel) of Madison, daughter Sandra Kepler of Wauwatosa and daughter Michelle Pike (Dan Pike) of Mequon, grandchildren Christopher and Andrew Kepler, Natalie and Spencer Lameka, Maria and Sasha Arevalo, Jessica and James Pike and six greatgrandchildren. They were rightfully proud of all of their offspring.
There will be no services at this time. The family would like to thank the EMS Service of Wauwatosa and the staff at Froedtert Hospital. Their beds were together at Froedtert and they were able to hold hands during their last days. Mary commented before her death that she was being cared for by Angels.