Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


January 31, 2013

Roger P. Shepler

CROSSVILLE — 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. ( was in charge of the arrangements.

Text Only
  • Hester Campbell

    Hester Lucille Campbell, 86, of Crossville, passed away July 20, 2014, at Cumberland Medical Center.The family will receive friends Tuesday, July 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Crossville Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 23, at 11 a.m. at Zion Hill Baptist Church, with Bro. Joe Campbell and Bro. Stanley Campbell officiating. Burial will follow in Burgess Cemetery.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hugh Hendricks Jr.

    Hugh W. Hendricks Jr., 66, of Alpharetta, GA, departed this life at his home July 16, 2014, surrounded by his loving family.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burtis Wooton

    Funeral services for Burtis Wooton, 80, of Crossville, will be conducted today, July 18, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of Goff Funeral Home.

    July 17, 2014

  • obit-jack williams.jpg Jack Williams

    Jack M. Williams, 83, of Crossville, passed away July 10, 2014, after a long illness.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mary Van Dorn

    Mary Faye Van Dorn, 70, of Grandview, passed away July 14, 2014, at Cumberland Medical Center. The family will receive friends today, July 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at Crossville Memorial Funeral Home, with the service at noon at the funeral home. Bro. Chip Meadows will officiate and burial will be in Haley's Grove Cemetery in Crab Orchard.

    July 17, 2014

  • Jamie McCloud

    Mr. Jamie Ray McCloud, 34, passed away July 11, 2014, at Alexandria Inova Hospital in Alexandria, VA.

    July 17, 2014

  • obit-james douglas.jpg Sir James Douglas

    Sir James L. Douglas, husband of Lady Terry Douglas, passed away July 6, 2014.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charline Bailey

    Funeral services for Charline Bailey, 87, of Crossville, will be conducted Saturday, July 19, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of Goff Funeral Home in Monterey.

    July 17, 2014

  • john glavan.jpg John Glavan

    John (Jack) Glavan, 77, of Fairfield Glade, passed away July 9, 2014, after a short illness. There will be a celebration Mass at 10 a.m. July 25 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Fairfield Glade.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Tinker

    William Newell Tinker, 89, passed away July 12, 2014.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014