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Henry ("Hank") Czepiel, 84, of Easthampton passed away peacefully on Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013 at Overlook at Northampton, after a brief illness. Born in Easthampton, he is the son of the late Joseph and Mary (Twarda) Czepiel.
Henry was a retired quality control inspector from the former Stanley Home Products in Easthampton. An avid sports fan, his passion was baseball. In his younger days he was a local baseball pitcher and was even offered a minor league contract, but instead chose to remain at home to care for his elderly parents. He coached baseball in Easthampton for many years and always enjoyed running into former players decades later, sharing stories of the glory days on the Little League fields. He also gave baseball and softball pointers to his sons and daughter, as well as instruction on how to catch a fish, primarily at his favorite fishing spot, the Oxbow.
A hard worker his entire life, in his retirement years Henry had a variety of interests, including spending time with family, gardening, projects around the house, tending to his apple trees, going for long walks, watching the Red Sox, playing with his dog and, for reasons his kids never understood, opera.
Being the youngest in his own family, he cared for his parents in their later years. His role as a caretaker continued throughout his life, as he helped relatives and friends at various times. He was also the primary and very devoted caretaker of his wife in her final years, the late Doris (Page) Czepiel, who passed away in 2008.
Henry leaves a daughter, Patricia Czepiel Hayes, and her husband John Hayes of Hadley; a son, Michael Czepiel of Easthampton and his companion Lisa Thibodeau and her grandson Kaleb Thibodeau; and a son, James Czepiel, of Northampton; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Henry was predeceased by his brothers John Czepiel, Walter Czepiel, William Czepiel, and sisters Alice Farrick, Helen Kandsz and Shirley Snyder.
Although he rarely wanted to draw attention to himself, Henry was always ready with a joke or sarcastic grin and enjoyed teasing friends and making anyone he met laugh. With his desire to never make a fuss, he requested a private memorial service for the immediate family, through the Boucher-O'Brien Funeral Home in Easthampton. There are no calling hours. Memorial gifts may be made to the ALS Association (www.alsa.org).
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 18, 2013