HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Wendell “Hep” Hepner, 83, of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, passed away Monday, April 15, 2019 due to complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was born March 19, 1936 in Tampico, Illinois to George and Marie Egert Hepner, who preceded him in death along with his two sisters, Elaine Hepner Willetts and Jeanette Hepner and brother Delbert Hepner.
Hep is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Gloria, along with their three children and their families: daughter Kelly Hepner Phillips and her husband Neal Phillips of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, granddaughter Emma Phillips Hamilton and her husband Tyler Hamilton of Westminster, Colorado and grandson Brandon Phillips of Madison, Wisconsin; daughter Jodi Hepner Sandlin and her husband Jeremy Sandlin of Dixon, Illinois, granddaughters Jessica Faley, Jamie Faley, Jordin Faley and Whitney Faley, all of Dixon, Illinois; and son Daron Hepner of Dixon, Illinois. In addition to the six grandchildren, Hep is survived by five great-grandchildren.
After graduating from Tampico High School, Hep attended Western Illinois University, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Kappa fraternity. He graduated with a degree in physical education and obtained his master’s degree in outdoor teacher education from Northern Illinois University. Hep spent over 20 years as sixth grade teacher in Ashton, Illinois.
After Hep met and dated Gloria while at Western Illinois University, they were married August 10, 1958. They spent 30 years living and raising their children in Grand Detour, Illinois before retiring to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where they have lived for the last 25 years. Hep was a long time member of the Kiwanis Club, including serving as past president and receiving the prestigious George F. Hixson Fellowship award in 2014. He enjoyed golf, boating and playing the basketball game of Horse. Hep was a member of the Presbyterian Kirk of the Pines.
The Hepner family extends its sincere thanks to the staff at House of Three and Kindred Hospice for their loving care and support. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in Hep’s honor to the Parkinson’s Foundation.