Donald L. Eppelheimer

Donald Eppelheimer died on October 25, 2014. Born in Roberts, Illinois on January 31, 1921, son of Arabel Krebs and Louis Eppelheimer, he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and friend.  He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Marvin.  Don is survived by his devoted wife of nearly seventy years, Mary; three sons, Charles (Sandi) of Chico, CA, Kenneth (Bonny), of Northbrook, IL, and Robert (Cean) of Okemos, MI; 1 granddaughter, Caitlyn, Northbrook, IL; 5 grandsons, Ross, Mineola, NY, Reed (Tiffany), Appleton, WI, Bradly, Bloomington, IN, Rhone, Ann Arbor, MI, and Miles, Chico, CA; and 1 great grandson, Rhen.

Don had a lifelong connection and love for the field of agriculture.  He grew up on a diary farm in Charlotte, MI where he decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in agriculture at Michigan State University.  Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he enlisted in the Navy to serve in World War II.  He served 5 years  as a Lt. Sr. Grade and Gunnery officer on a destroyer in the Southwest Pacific and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.  Don was a humble man and only spoke of his World War II experience when prodded by his sons and grandchildren. He completed his undergraduate degree in 1942.

When on leave, Don married the love of his life, Mary, in a simple ceremony at The Goodwill Church in Hastings, MI on December 9, 1944.  Don and Mary raised three boys together as he pursued a 14-year career with Michigan State Extension Service in Coldwater, Hillsdale, Lake Odessa and later, in St. Joseph, Michigan.  He received state and national recognition for his service and returned to MSU where he earned his Master’s Degree in 1959.

Because of his vast knowledge of agricultural and his position as Berrien County Agent, he was invited to join the Bank of Niles in 1960, enabling the bank to better serve the farming community.  Don would spend the duration of his career in the banking industry; work that he loved, supporting area farmers and the success of their operations.

His work and interest provided opportunities for service to community, various civic and business organizations, and his church, including Rotary, Lake Michigan College, Economic Club, Chamber of Commerce, and the First Congregational Church.  He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.

Don loved people – he was quick to smile and extend his hand in a welcoming way.   He was a devoted husband and father, a loving father-in-law and grandpa.  He will be sorely missed by his family, who are grateful for the love and wonderful memories he leaves behind.  He died at home, surrounded by family; a peaceful ending to a good life.


Funeral Arrangements are pending at this time.