Keith R. Koepke, 66, of Jefferson, died unexpectedly Sunday, February 6, 2022 at Ashtabula County Medical Center. He was born August 23, 1955, the son of Reno and Adelaide (Golden) Koepke. He was a 1974 graduate of St. Joseph High School in Cleveland.
He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1974 and served with 3d Marine Air Wing, El Toro California, Iwakuni, Japan and aboard the USS Midway attaining the rank of Sergeant before his Honorable Discharge in 1980.
Keith worked as a service technician for Xerox for 37 years before retiring. Keith was fiercely Patriotic, honest and a man of his word, an avid animal lover and a great Father to his son, Chris. He was extremely proud when his son joined the USMC following in the footsteps of Keith and his Father.
Keith married the love of his life, Malea Ann (Lapic) Koepke in 1997. When Ann became ill, Keith took care of her to the best of his ability and remained by her side faithfully until her passing in 2010.
Keith was a Life Member and Past Commandant of the Pvt. Henry Kalinowski Detachment #782 of the Marine Corps League in Ashtabula, Ohio. Being a proud American and Historian, he was instrumental in the renaming of State Rt. 11 in Ashtabula County in honor of Pvt. Kalinowski. Based on his research, Keith learned the history of Det. 782 and its founding. In doing so, he was able to recover the original Charter dating back to 1946. In addition, Keith was able to obtain a grave marker for Kalinowski in Ashtabula's Veteran's Park.
In honor of his son, Keith and Ann implemented the Det. 782 Care Package Program sending aid to Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and 3d MAW in Japan. Keith was also one of the founding members of the Ashtabula County Young Marines and the Kalinowski Marine Corps League Auxiliary of Ashtabula. Keith proudly assisted with Toys for Tots for 10 years.
Keith loved animals and supported Silver Fur K9 Rescue. Keith took in several rescue dogs himself and always forged an unbreakable bond. Keith also enjoyed woodworking, computer artwork and doing his own home improvements.
Surviving him is his son Christopher (Amanda) Koepke of Painesville; Step-Daughters Melissa Fryer and Julie Baker; Sisters, Karen (Joudat) Said, Denise (John) Echols and Brother David Koepke. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and his special companion dogs Ozzie and Jack. He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Ann, Sister Gail and Brother Patrick.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 14, 2022 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church 29850 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe. Burial will be in All Souls Cemetery in Chardon Twp. with Full Military Honors. Marine Corps League Det. 782 will perform the Eagle, Globe & Anchor Ritual.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Silver Fur K9 Rescue, 2600 Forman Rd., Austinburg, Ohio 44010 or https://www.paypal.me/silverfurk9rescue.
Arrangements by Orlando-Donsante-Previte Funeral Home of Wickliffe (440) 943-2466.
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Silver Fur K9 Rescue
2600 Forman Rd., Austinburg OH 44010