Arthur Glenard HepnerJanuary 10, 2012
Arthur Glenard Hepner, 69, stepped into heaven after a long battle with lung cancer at 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, January 10, 2012, with his loving wife, Nancy, at his side. A memorial service will be held Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. at the Hazel Dell Church of Christ. Interment will be held with full military honors at the Hazel Dell Cemetery.
One day, he will be reunited with his surviving loved ones, including his high school sweetheart and wife of 48 years, Nancy (Ruffner) Hepner of Jacksonville, Florida, his daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Paul Loesche, and two beloved grandchildren, Jacob and Jessica Loesche all of Chesapeake, Virginia. Brothers and sisters, Donald of Flat Rock, Cleo Lawson of Flat Rock, Robert of Valpariso, Indiana, Jerry of Martinsville and Ann Sanger of Martinsville. Brothers and sisters in-law Earl and Marie Ruffner of Wisconsin, Marilyn and Gary Wattleworth of Yale, Jack and Norma Ruffner of Yale, and Annetta and Doug Chronic of Largo, Florida. Extended family including nieces, nephews and dear friends will greatly miss him.
Art was preceded in death by his parents, Dale and Pauline Hepner, his stepmother, Della Hepner, one brother, Harry Hepner, one sister, Dixie (Hepner) Best, his mother and fathers in law, Freda (Spencer) (Ruffner) Green, William Ruffner and Robert Green, one sister-in-law Cathy Hepner, as well as two nephews, Cody Chronic and Jon Ruffner.
Art was born and raised in and around Flat Rock. He graduated in 1960 from Newton Community High School, where he loved playing basketball. Following graduation, he joined the United States Air Force. Art served his country for 23 year before retiring in 1983. His service included tours in Vietnam, as well as Iceland, Korea and England. He also served at numerous bases stateside, including Langley AFB, Hurlburt Field AFB, Tyndall AFB, Chanute AFB, Scott AFB, and two favorite opportunities at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX where he served as a Drill Sergeant and in Blytheville, AR where he served as First Sergeant for the EMS squadron. Art touched countless lives through his patriotism and leadership during his tenure in the service and was dedicated to each command and mission.
During his military career, he attended the USAF First Sergeant Academy, the ATC Noncommissioned Officer Academy, OJT Training and Military Instructor Training Courses. He was well-decorated and was honored to receive the following personal awards: Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
In addition, MSgt Hepner (retired) received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 clusters, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with 2 clusters, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Force Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Military Education Ribbon, and Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with 4 clusters,.
Upon retirement, Art attended Lakeland Community College and received an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts. Following college, he continued to serve the military community as a Veteran's Affairs Representative, as a Disabled American Veteran's Representative, and as an Illinois AMVETS Officer. He also managed a successful Goodwill Industries store in Maryland.
An avid fisherman, Art loved to spend quiet time on the water as well as countless hours in the kitchen cooking up something delicious for his loved ones. Art was a member of the Hazel Dell Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, Art has requested donations be made to organizations dear to his heart or directly to Nancy. The Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude Children's Hospital are two fond organizations. The Wounded Warrior Project helps wounded warriors returning home from current conflicts. Donations in Art's honor may be made online at www.woundedwarriorproject.org or by calling 904-296-7350. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a non-profit organization dedicated to the treatment of critically ill children, many who suffer from cancer. Donations in Art's honor may be made online at www.stjude.org or by calling 800-805-5856.