KEPPEL, Ernest Ludwig, of Richmond, passed away on June 20, 2013. Born on December 26, 1920, he was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Gwaltney Keppel; and father, Ludwig E. Keppel. Ernie is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marilyn "Tish" Keppel; five children, Deans Keppel of Fairfax, Calif., Merritt Keppel and wife, Vicki, of Dinwiddie, Va., Margot Keppel Fritts and husband, James, of Richmond, Va., Mark "Woody" Keppel and wife, Andrea Grayson, of Charlotte, Vt., and John Keppel of Ashburn, Va.; a sister, Ruth Hagerman; 11 grandchildren, Lindsey Keppel Hayes, Josie Keppel Russell, Benjamin Keppel, Tricia Keppel, Madeleine Keppel Camozzo, Marshall Keppel, Katherine Keppel, Emily Keppel, Nathaniel Keppel, Meredith Keppel and William Keppel; and one great-grandchild, Eloise Ivey Russell. Ernie Keppel graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1938 and from the Virginia Military Institute as a member of the Class of 1942. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Ernie served as a mechanized cavalry troop leader of the 95th Infantry Division, 20th Corps, 3rd Army and saw combat in the European theatre in World War II. He received the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in the battle to liberate Metz, France. Ernie also participated in combat operations in Saarlautern, the Rhine Crossing and the Ruhr Pocket. After the war, Ernie attended the University of Virginia and was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and, while there, met and fell in love with his future wife, Marilyn 'Tish' Keppel. He was Vice President of East Coast Freight Lines for 40 years, serving with his father, the founder and president of the company. Ernie later transitioned to a career in commercial real estate with C. Porter Vaughan of Richmond. He served for 20 years on the Henrico Economic Development Authority, holding positions of vice chairman and secretary. Ernie was a member of All Saints Church and served on the vestry. Ernie loved people and made friends easily. He enjoyed telling stories, especially to get a laugh, and his self -deprecating humor was most infectious. Ernie instilled in his children the importance of honesty, and was a man whose actions were consistent with his words. He was a generous man, and helped his family in their endeavors, both financially and as a trusted counselor. A longtime member of the Country Club of Virginia, Ernie partnered with Jordan Ball of Virginia Beach to win the 1966 and 1976 Member-Guest Golf Tournaments. His famed and treasured putter, "The Green Hornet," will accompany Ernie onto greener courses in heaven. A memorial service will be held 4 p.m. Monday, June 24, at all Saints Episcopal Church. Burial in Hollywood Cemetery will be private. Papa Ernie, we'll miss you dearly, and always treasure the memories. Thank you for your sense of humor, your dance moves and your fried chicken. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the VMI Foundation, Lexington, Va., or All Saints Church, 8787 River Rd., Richmond, Va.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.