Wilford M. And Mary L. Kepler
1925 - 2020
Wilford M. and Mary L. Kepler

Wauwatosa - Wilford M. Kepler, age 94, and Mary L. (nee Wheaton) Kepler, age 92, both died six hours apart on April 18, 2020 at Froedtert Hospital of the terrible Covid 19. Wilford was born on September 24, 1925 near Boaz, Wisconsin to E. Harvey Kepler and Elizabeth Bethke Kepler. Mary was born in Blue River, Wisconsin on April 29, 1927 to Clyde Wheaton and Mamie Bartels Wheaton.

Both graduated from Richland Center High School although Wilford was drafted and reported for duty in November before his class graduated in May of 1943. Mary graduated from high school in 1945 and from Alverno College in 1981. Wilford was a machinist at Harnishfeger where he worked for 35 years and mom worked as the Vice President of US Steel Supply, the first woman in such a position.

Wilford served as a Pharmacist's Mate aboard the USS Wilkes Barre and saw heavy action in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He enjoyed his reunions with his Navy shipmates. Wilford loved to garden and enjoyed the two cottages that he and mom owned during their lives. Wilford volunteered at the VA Hospital for over 20 years. Both Mary and Wilford rooted for the Badgers and Packers, but Wilford had a strange love affair with the Cubs. Mary loved her flower gardens, enjoyed exercising and sports activities. Mary served on the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging.

They leave behind son Michael (Mary Beth Keppel) of Madison, daughter Sandra Kepler of Wauwatosa and daughter Michelle Pike (Dan Pike) of Mequon, grandchildren Christopher and Andrew Kepler, Natalie and Spencer Lameka, Maria and Sasha Arevalo, Jessica and James Pike and six greatgrandchildren. They were rightfully proud of all of their offspring.

There will be no services at this time. The family would like to thank the EMS Service of Wauwatosa and the staff at Froedtert Hospital. Their beds were together at Froedtert and they were able to hold hands during their last days. Mary commented before her death that she was being cared for by Angels.

Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Apr. 20 to Apr. 26, 2020.
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25 Entries
What a wonderful couple. My parents and them became friends many years before I was even born. My parents moved away, and settled in Illinois, where they raised their family. But they kept in touch and visited each other through the years. When my father died in the winter of 1983, they drove through a blizzard just to be there for my mom. They were the only people that came from out of state due to the storm. Mary also made sure to keep in touch with my mom afterwards and was a great help to her through her loss. I will never forget those gestures of kindness and friendship. The Keplers were very kind and caring people. I am so sorry for your loss of your parents, grandparents, and greatgrandparents. I hope your memories of them and their love comfort you.
Sheila Mammenga Corbin
May 28, 2020
Mary and Kep used to be close to my parents, Bob and Peggy Mammenga. They were a special couple! We all thought the world of them! So sad to hear this but thankful they went together as that is how they lived their life, devoted to each other. They will be missed by all who crossed their path in life! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family...
Linda (Mammenga) Beard
May 28, 2020
Your parents love story touched my heart. As a critical care nurse you see the preciousness of life and the capacity to love more deeply than imagined. God bless the legacy of love they have given to you and to all of us who never knew them but have been touched so deeply. Thank you!
May 2, 2020
Dear Kepler Family, Please accept my loving prayers and heartfelt condolences on the passing of your Mom and Dad. I am so sorry. May God bless them and you in these very difficult times. Lord, please bless the Kepler family with the peace, love, faith, comfort and strength that only You can give. Amen.
Mary Tikalsky
April 29, 2020
Our most sincere condolence to the Kepler family for the irreparable lost of Wilford and Mary their distinguish marriage legacy of love is desirable.
April 29, 2020
Sandy and family,

Sending love and condolences at this sad time. Your parents were such lovely people. How sweet that they were able to go together. How sad that you lost both at the same time.
Archan Sramek
April 29, 2020
God Bless and keep your wonderful family! Wilford and Mary's story is so heartwarming, the love they had for each other is beyond what words can express. You all take care, I will pray for you. xoxo
Carla Hanson
April 29, 2020
So sorry for the loss of both of your parents.
Jill Z
April 28, 2020
I lived next door to Mary and Will on Stewart Avenue for a couple of years before I moved away. They were the nicest, sweetest neighbors I have ever had. Natalie was a little girl at the time and I would see her too. Will would help me fix things when we were trying to sell the house. When my husband died in 2008, they both came to the visitation at the funeral home. They were both so sweet. And I was so pleased and surprised that they took the time to come. I will never forget their kindness. They were very special people. I am so sorry for your loss. you have my deepest sympathy.
Marcia Bringardner
April 27, 2020
What a story!! I hope to have at least 1/2 that time w my hubby, blessed even more, GodSpeed and rest easy
Alesha L
April 27, 2020
Dear Shelly and family:
I have such fond memories of your mom and dad from our high school friendship days. How wonderful to see that they have lived long and fulfilling lives. I had no idea that your mom had gone back to college, probably around the same time we were in college. Wishing you peace and strength.
Carol Barr
April 27, 2020
I had seen the article about your parents passing. Please keep in mind during this sorrowful time, they did not have to suffer without each other. To be married that long, and to be able to go to heaven together must have been very joyful for them. They are with their loved ones in heaven and watching over all of you on earth. Cherish the beautiful memories that they made for you.
Mary Beth Javorek
April 27, 2020
Mary was my volunteer at Elmbrook Hospital. she was truly a joy to work with. She will be missed
Clara Nettesheim
April 26, 2020
Will was a special volunteer! Mary always made sure we had treats waiting for the riders to come back from appointments !
I will miss them both

Patty Davis
DAV transportation coordinator
Bless you all
Patty Davis
April 26, 2020
James Johnston
April 25, 2020
I worked with Will at the Zablocki VA Hospital. We both volunteered for the DAV. Will spoke about the USS Wilkes-Barre (CL-103) many times. We are all sorry for your loss.
Bryan Johnson.
Bryan Johnson
April 23, 2020
April 22, 2020
I only knew Mary through my exercise class at Hart Park Senior Center. She always had a winning smile and an enthusiastic attitude. I had family from the Richland Center area and she helped me with the genealogy of my family there. She will be missed. Rita Musto
April 22, 2020
My Great aunt & Uncle were the greatest! Loved catching up with them at our family reunions in Boaz. They always wore a smile and always shared their love❤ and laughter with us all! Aunt Mary always made sure she checked my nails to make sure I wasn't biting them lol (she made a bet with me) she may have bribed me a bit❤ Two great people together til the end and now together forever in their eternal home. Sending love and hugs to the whole family.
Melody Rittenhouse
April 22, 2020
What a terrible loss. I'm so sorry for you and your family. Such a difficult time for you. Please know other share in your grief. (ADRC Brown)
Laurie Ropson
April 22, 2020
I was very sad to hear about both Willford and Mary. They were a beautiful couple both inside and out! They were special to everyone they met. I only had a few chances to get to know them but I was happy that I did! They will be missed! Thinking of all their family and friends!
Patricia Bohach
April 22, 2020
Sending my love and thoughts your way. I always loved these two! They were always fun, pleasant and engaging-- and Wilford always told a good story (and Mary never corrected him) They were two of the best; I am sorry to hear the news.
Kerri (Kepler) Modjeski
April 21, 2020
Suzanne L Talatzko
April 21, 2020

To you and your entire family, I send my deepest condolences. I pray for everyone's strength and peace during this difficult time. Your mom was one of the sweetest individuals that I had ever met and represented the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging with such dignity and poise. Your parents lived in love together on this earth and I pray they shall forever rest in peace together in heaven.
Jonette Arms
April 21, 2020
Mary Jo Ludtke
April 21, 2020
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