Mildred G. Kepler, Age :100
Jun 20,1920---Feb 13,2021

 Mildred G. Kepler, of Shawnee, KS formerly of Kansas City, KS died Saturday, February 13,
2021 at the age of 100 years and 7 months. No funeral service is planned. A Celebration of
Life will be held at a later date.
Mildred was born June 20,1920 in North Bend Washington. She was the only child of James J.
and Clara (Knoch) Epperson. The family resided in Snoqualmie, Washington and San Diego,
California before traveling to Kansas City in 1928 where they settled on the Kansas side of
State Line Road. She attended Maccochaque Elementary School and would easily rattle off
the spelling of the unique name as was required of every student. She graduated from
Rosedale High School in 1938. There she met her husband Edward D. Kepler. They were
married May 14, 1941. They resided in Kansas City, Kansas for many years before moving to
Shawnee, Kansas. He preceded her in death in 2004. A fellow classmate would become her
late-in-life companion. James “Ed” Mayer, fondly called “Ed 2” by the family, preceded her in
death in 2014.
An accomplished artist, Mildred had dreamed of being a fashion illustrator but financial
necessity sent her to business college instead. Throughout her early years she dabbled in
charcoal and watercolors, but began taking classes in oil painting in the sixties. Her first
landscape in oils opened a new dimension and she got serious about painting. She later
returned to watercolor and portraits, her first interests. She was a long-time member of the
Wyandotte Art Association and the Greater Kansas City Art Association. She regularly exhibited
at the local art fairs and her work is represented in private and business collections in the
United States, Germany, Norway and Japan. She also taught classes from her home studio
and enjoyed watching her students fall in love with painting.
She loved nature and was an avid gardener. She was known for her beautiful flowers and had
a large collection of irises in many colors. Her passion for fashion and colors also carried over
to her wardrobe which was extensive. She was often described as beautiful inside and out.
Mam (as she was known to family and friends) was a warm and gracious hostess and enjoyed
opening their home for many occasions. Parties on the patio were a regular occasion. She was
well known for her kindness, generosity and keen mind. She loved to travel and have new
adventures, always keeping her camera ready to snap a picture of a barn or a mountain that
she would later put to canvas. Her last great travel adventures were in her 90’s when she
cruised around South America and took a European river cruise.When asked the secret to her
longevity she would reply: black coffee, dark chocolate and red wine.
She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church for many years and then the Shawnee
United Methodist Church. She was a member and past-president of P.E.O Chapter AL.
Mam is survived by son Larry & daughter-in-law Kay Kepler of Shawnee; grandchildren Kari
and Josh Ivie, Chad and Gabby Kepler, Clint and Mary Sprague; great-grandchildren Wyatt,
Brooklyn & London Ivie, Kayla, Nicole, Levi, Allie, Justus & Hannah Sprague;
her daughter Dee & son-in-law John Hetlinger of Shawnee; grandchildren Jessica and Tom
Franco, Jed and Andrea Hetlinger & Ross and Maria Hetlinger; great-grandchildren Wilson &
Vincent Franco, Thea, Mia & Addy Hetlinger, Mason & Anna Hetlinger, her foreign-exchange
daughter Conny Jaksche of Murnau Germany and many friends and extended family who
loved her. She will be especially missed by her happy hour buddy Eudora.
The family suggest memorials to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


Bridget Foster Feb 15 ,2021

Friend ,Lakewood ,Illinois

My heart goes out to all of my dear Hetlingers & Keplers! Mam was such a blessing to everyone that knew her. She was kind, gracious, patient, generous, and wise. She always saw the best in each of us. Her advice was profound, heartfelt and exactly what we needed to hear. She was a warm hostess for large (sometimes rowdy!) gatherings and somehow she was always a step ahead of us crazy kids...even on spring breaks in Galveston! Mam was an earthly angel and a perfect example of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I adored her and Ed and it makes me smile to know they can be together again now in Heaven. She will always be missed here on earth and remembered fondly. Love, hugs and prayers to all! As Mama Dee always says "Love Ya's"!

Elaine Howlett Feb 16 ,2021

Friend ,Desoto ,Kansas

I grew up watching my parents (Ted and Vivian Garrett) have the most amazing relationship with Mildred and Ed. They played bridge constantly laughing and teasing each other. Words are hard to come by describing my feelings for Mildred. Somehow her being alive always kept me reliving happy memories of our two families relationships. We have shared so much and I will love Mildred and her beautiful smile forevermore.

Wendell and Nancy Davis Feb 16 ,2021

Friend ,Kansas

Our deepest sympathy to Larry, Kay, and your families. Losing a parent is very difficult, but you can always remember the good times. God be with you all.

Karl Peter Hetlinger Feb 16 ,2021

Dee Kepler Hetlinger's brother-in-law ,Emporia ,Kansas

Mam had a wonderful, kind, and warm smile. She touched so many lives, and I will not forget her many kindnesses.

Kay Kepler Feb 16 ,2021

Daughter-in-Law ,Shawnee ,Kansas

Mam was the best mother-n-law anyone could ask for! She welcomed my 2 sons (who were 5 and 12 years old when Larry and I were married) with open arms. She always made us feel special. I've enjoyed many wonderful evenings just getting to hang out and enjoy her company. Especially over the last 15 years. Larry and I always looked forward to our Saturday evenings with her, whether we watched Lawrence Welk, PBS or just listened to music and chatted.. it was always a refreshing time with this great lady! I'm going to miss her so much. Love you Mam!

Pam Gregory-jones Feb 16 ,2021

Friend ,Fuvall ,Washington

Mildred was a beautiful lady. Talented and gracious. My late husband’s dear friend and cousin. He always said she was the”good kid” and he was the trouble maker. I heard many stories of their childhood adventures. It was my pleasure to become her friend and enjoy several great visits when we were in Kansas City. Love to her family. Pam

Ted and Karen Garrett Feb 17 ,2021

Friends ,Albuquerque ,New Mexico

Mildred and Ed Kepler were best friends of my parents for as long as I can remember. As kids Dee, Larry and my brother and sisters spent many evenings attempting to stay out of trouble as our parents were playing bridge. Mildred and my sister Elaine came to Albuquerque for a tour of the southwest. Mildred enjoyed the tour of Santa Fe including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the other Canyon Road art galleries. Mildred was a gracious and kind person and will be missed by all. Our sincere sympathy to all the family. Ted and Karen

Mary Sprague Feb 17 ,2021

Married her grandson Clint. ,Olathe ,Kansas

From the first time I met Mam over 33 years ago, I was warmly welcomed into her home and family. I experienced her kindness every time we were blessed to be there over the years. There hasn’t been a pie crust I’ve made that I haven’t remembered Mam who first taught me the simple way to make the crust edges pretty. She was always easy to talk to and smiled so beautiful. I never recall an unkind word and she honestly was a beautiful example of kindness and class. Mam loved well. I was so honored when she asked to paint me and her first great granddaughter Kayla back in 1993. I’m thankful for being blessed to have known her. Praying comfort for the entire family. May the impact she has had on each of our lives help us to grow to pass on the legacy she lived out in how she valued others and enjoyed time spent together around the table.

Jane and Harry Hurst Feb 17 ,2021

Friend ,Lenexa ,Kansas

What a blessing it has been for us to have had Mildred in our life. We met her when she and our friend, Jim Ed became reunited in friendship. We had known and loved Jim for years and we very quickly fell in love with Mildred. Beautiful inside and out, always kind and lifting others up. I loved her sense of humor and quick wit. For the passed several years I knew she dealt with such pain but she carried on with a smile on her face. I told her many times that she was an inspiration to me and I hope she knew I truly meant it. A life so well lived. You will be missed, my friend. Our sincere condolences to her wonderful family, for which she was so very grateful and proud.

Joan Herrick Feb 18 ,2021

she was my "Great Aunt" (by marriage) ,Prescott Valley ,Arizona

I feel so privileged to have been in the family yrs ago & proud to call her "Aunt Mildred" Am so grateful to have visited with her in Oct.2019 in Kansas. My mom, Millie & I got to surprise her for her 90th birthday(wrote her a poem to celebrate her 90th) And we are the "proud owners" of a couple of her beautiful paintings...what a TALENT & what an ARTIST & what a BEAUTIFUL LADY{inside & out} One day we will get to "see her the Greatest Reunion of All!!." Love in-Jesus & my sympathies to the FAMILY for your loss - but know we will "all be together again" Joan

Trisha Hudson Feb 18 ,2021

Friend of the family ,Ottawa ,Kansas

I’m soo sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful woman and will be missed dearly!

Danny Cox Feb 22 ,2021

Co-Worker at Bayer ,Overland Park ,Kansas

I was sorry to hear about Larry's mother. She obviously enjoyed a well-lived life. I know the years go by quickly, as my dad lived to 101 and my mom to 100. I hope Larry, Kay and family continue to remember the good times and know that their many friends share their sorrow.

D P Mayer Feb 24 ,2021

My father, "Ed 2", was Mildred's former classmate at Rosedale High who ultimately became her l "late-in-life companion". In their senior years together they were a lovely couple who were very supportive of one another. Our family was so extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful woman as Mildred come into our lives. Rest in peace lovely lady. D P Mayer