COLUMBUS — John Henry Epler, 93, died at Columbus on Thursday, Feb 18, 2010.
He was born Dec. 10, 1916, near Hallowell the second son of Melvin Leon and Carrie E. (Holaday) Epler. He attended the Friendship one-room school through eighth grade and went on to graduate from the Cherokee County Community High School at Columbus in 1933. He has lived and farmed in Cherokee County all his life.
On Dec. 24, 1939, he married Clarice Louise Pickering at her home near Hallowell. She died in 1988.
Mr. Epler served on various local school boards from 1951 until 1969. He was a member of the board of School District No. 90 for several years and later served on the boards of both CCRHS and Columbus Unified School District 493. He was instrumental in planning and overseeing the consolidation of the Columbus schools during that time. He worked long hours planning the construction of a new high school building, built in 1961, which would include an auditorium, cafeteria and library. That building was planned and built so that further additions could be easily added later and those additions have taken place since that time. He served on the first board that established the Southeast Kansas Area Vocational Technical School in Columbus and Coffeyville. He believed strongly in providing every educational opportunity possible to the young people of the community.
Survivors include his children, John M. Epler and his wife, Cindy, of Hallowell, Mark Epler and his wife, Betty, of Chetopa, Karen Dolanc and her husband, Terry, of Joplin and Jean Studebaker and her husband, Jack, of Fredonia; a son-in-law, Marion Atkinson; a close family friend, Jane Doerflinger and family of Overland Park; 10 grandchildren, Gina Dolanc Atteberry, Chris Dolanc, Suzannah Dolanc Pugh, Jonathan Epler, Michael Epler, Eric Studebaker, Tyler Studebaker, Lucas Epler, Christina Epler and Timothy Epler; four great-grandchildren, Christian Atteberry, Kelsey Atteberry, Kip Atteberry and Eden Dolanc.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Carrie Epler; his wife, Louise Epler; a daughter, Evelyn Atkinson; and three brothers, Leon Epler, Alvin Epler and an infant brother, Robert Epler.
The service will be at 11 a.m. today at Murdock Funeral Home in Columbus. Burial will follow at McKee Cemetery.
Memorials can be made to McKee Cemetery. The Murdock Funeral Home, 132 E. Pine , Columbus, 66725, is in charge of arrangements.