Dedicated student, educator, physician, and family supporter, George Henry Koepke of Birchaven Lane, died on November 26, 2013. He was the first child born on January 1, 1916, in Toledo, Ohio. Gust and Louise (Kutz) Koepke were his parents.
His wife, Helen K. LaBoiteaux Koepke; a younger brother, Dr. Charles Koepke, and son-in-law, Lloyd Bunting, proceeded him in death. He is survived by daughters, Susan M. Healy (David) and Sandra S. Bunting; grandchildren, Robert (Melissa) Healy, Heather (Ken) Caligiuri, Melinda Healy, Lance (Mary Beth) Healy, and great-grandchildren, Shayle, Allyssen and Kelsey Welch, Lucas and Kate Healy; nephews, Drs. Richard and Randell Koepke, and nieces, Laura Goodremont and Kara Lynn Minnick.
George graduated from The University of Toledo (BS) in 1945, and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, (M.D.) in 1949. He interned at Toledo Hospital. He was Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The University of Michigan and was later Chairman of that department. He was on staff at The University Hospital and The Veteran's Administration Hospital 1954-76. He was U of M's first medical resident in this young specialty during the polio epidemic of the 1950s and was a member of the team when Dr. Salk announced the polio vaccine. George developed a division of orthotics and prosthetics for amputees and developed new techniques for respirator - dependent patients. He also worked with burn patients and became a national expert in burn rehabilitation.
George was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Physical Medicine. He was a Senior Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, an Emeritus member of the Ohio Orthopedic Society and The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicines. He was a founding member and Chairman of The American Association of Electrodiagnostics Medicine.
George was a member of the Hancock County Medical Society (Findlay) and an honorary staff member of The Blanchard Valley Health System, Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow: twice), The First Presbyterian Church, The Findlay Country Club, The American Medical Equestrian Association, Beacon Club and Who's Who in Medicine.
Retiring to Findlay to be with his family, George became an avid horseback rider, gardener and made voluntary commitments to the BVHC Medical Library supporting research and continuing medical education. The medical library is named in his honor. He was a mentor in his field.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Findlay, 2330 South Main Street or The Blanchard Valley Health Foundation designated to "The Physicians Medical Education Endowment Fund," 1900 South Main Street or to "The George and Helen Koepke Endowment Fund" of the Community Foundation, 101 West Sandusky, Suite 207, all in Findlay, Ohio 45840.
Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013 at Coldren-Crates Funeral Home, Findlay. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church, Findlay. Pastor Patrick Cherry will officiate. Online condolences may be made at
Coldren Crates Funeral Home
205 West Sandusky Street
Findlay, OH 45840
Published in Toledo Blade on Dec. 2, 2013