Aug. 23, 1936—Jan. 25, 2013
Roger P. Shepler, 76, of Fairfield Glade, passed away Jan. 25, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer. There will be a celebration of Roger’s life at the next Shepler family reunion in July 2013, in Fairfield Glade.
Roger Shepler was born Aug. 23, 1936, in Lansing, MI. He graduated from Lansing High School in 1955 after winning the State Class A Championship in the pole vault. He then attended Western Michigan University where he excelled in football and track and field. Roger was captain of the track and field team that captured their first Mid-American Conference title, and he won the long jump with a school and meet record of 23’10”. The school record remained until 1980. Prior to graduating from Western Michigan University (1959), Roger married his Lansing Eastern High School sweetheart, Nancy Kay Miller. Roger Shepler started his high school coaching and teaching career in 1958 at Harper Creek H.S. in Battle Creek, MI., but soon followed his best friend, Jerry Beckner, to Pontiac Central High School. In 1963, Roger was named head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Pontiac Central High School. He took over as track and field head coach in 1968 where he won an impressive 48 major titles, including the 1974 Michigan state title and the prestigious Mansfield (Ohio) Relays. In 1974, he was elected MITCA high school coach of the year for track and field. During his career, Roger enjoyed the opportunity to work with his three children (Greg, Mark and Karla), all of whom competed in track and field.
Roger retired from coaching in 1978 and from teaching in 1991. They moved to Fairfield Glade in 1993. Roger and Nancy enjoyed many wonderful years in retirement in Fairfield Glade. Roger was an avid golfer during his retirement, competing and achieving special recognition in the Tennessee Senior Olympics at a national level. As recent as 2011, he became one of the best amateur senior golfers in Tennessee, finishing first in the state and then in the top 25 in the national tournament. More than the competition, Roger enjoyed the camaraderie of golf, organizing outings and often serving as the “MC,” awarding prizes such as his infamous “cave man” putter. He was one of the organizers of the “Yukon Jacks, The Rovers, The Spring Fling, and the Breakfast Boys.”
Roger also understood the importance of family. He loved to organize, photograph, and create momentos of family vacations and reunions. Roger loved all his grandchildren and entertained them with his “buried treasure hunts” at the Shepler family reunions. Roger also enjoyed taking guests out on their pontoon boat, hunting and fishing, traveling throughout the USA, following the Lady Vols and the MSU Spartans, and being engaged in numerous home improvement projects. Roger “seized every day” and is admired by his friends and family for his work ethic, attention to details, sense of humor, and words of wisdom.
Roger is survived by his wife, Nancy Kay (Miller) Shepler of Fairfield Glade; sons, Gregory Scott Shepler and wife, Diane, of Burlington, VT, and Mark Alan Shepler and wife, Karen, of Jamesville, WI; daughter, Karla Kay McGinnis and husband, Kerry Barnett, of Milford, MI; brother, Ronald Shepler of Charlotte, MI; sister, Bonnie Hatch of Gold Hills, OR; and grandchildren, Samuel, Malcolm, Sinclair, Savannah, Jacqueline, Travis, Amanda, Morgan and Jillian.
Roger was predeceased his parents, Polly and Harry Shepler, and by his best friend, Jerry Beckner, with whom he is reunited once again.
The real legacy of Roger exists in the lives of hundreds of young men and women he mentored and helped nurture during the challenging '60s and '70s in Pontiac, MI. Many of these men and women are now parents and coaches themselves and have sent testimonials describing Roger’s impact in their lives. The family thanks all of them for their words of support and their actions in serving their community and helping friends and family. The life of Roger Shepler demonstrates the power of one and provides a model for many.
Contributions can be sent in Roger Shepler’s memory to:
Fairfield Glade Community Church, 521 Snead Drive Fairfield Glade, TN 38558; or Hospice of Cumberland County, 30 E. Adams, Crossville, TN 38555.
Bilbrey Funeral Home, Inc. (www.bilbreyfh.com) was in charge of the arrangements.
Aug. 23, 1936—Jan. 25, 2013
John William Irvin, 85, of Crossville, passed away Dec. 2, 2013, at his home. A memorial service will be held Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at Tansi Community Church, with Dr. Paul Dixon officiating. Family will receive friends on Tuesday at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of Cumberland County.
Helen Dellene (Lewis) Meadows, 83, of Sparta, passed away Nov. 30, 2013, at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. Funeral services were held at Bilbrey Funeral Home Dec. 4, with Bro. Ralph Reagan officiating. Interment was in Clifty Cemetery.
Ronald Waldo Evans, "Ron," 79, of Crossville, passed away Dec. 1, 2013, at Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. with the Rev. John Purdue and the Rev. Jerry Mayo officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, from noon to 1 p.m., at the funeral home.
Carolyn O. Dyer, 62, of Brentwood, Tennessee, passed away Nov. 30, 2013.
Robert Thomas Thurman, 89, of Crossville, passed away Nov. 30, 2013.
Barbara J. Polson, 66, of Crossville, passed away Nov. 30, 2013. Graveside services were held Dec. 3 at Woody Cemetery. Bro. Noel Turner officiated.
Jackson Walker Fitch, 4, of Crossville, passed away Nov. 30, 2013, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. A graveside was held at McEwen Cemetery in McEwen, TN, Dec. 3, with Bro. Brian Smith officiating. The family received friends Dec. 2 at Bilbrey Funeral Home.
Dion Ault Sr.
Dion G. Ault Sr., 65 of Pikeville passed away Dec. 2, 2013. A celebration of Dion’s life will be held Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Pikeville Funeral Home, with Bro. Milton Kerr and Bro. Doyle Ashburn officiating. Burial will be in the Hamilton Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday from 4-9 p.m. and on Saturday from 11-1 p.m.
Mildred Joe Jones, 74, of Crossville, passed away Nov. 28, 2013, at NHC Healthcare Fort Sanders. Funeral services were held Nov. 30 at Crossville Memorial Funeral Home, with Bro. Danny Wyatt officiating. Burial was in Elmore Cemetery.
Memorial services for John Richard Duffy, 77, of the Cumberland Cove Community of Monterey, will be conducted Thursday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. from the Cumberland Cove Welcome Center. The family will receive friends at the Welcome Center following services Thursday.
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