LAKE LINDEN — Edward Koepel, 84, of Lake Linden, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 24, 2018, at the Omega House in Houghton.
Ed, the eldest child of Louis and Helen Koepel, was born on August 5, 1934, at St. Joseph Hospital in Hancock.
Ed was a 1952 graduate of Lake Linden-Hubbell High School.
After high school, he attended Michigan Technological University, where he earned a bachelor of science and a master of science degree in metallurgical engineering.
On September 3, 1956, he married Annette Dupuis at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden.
Ed and Annette moved to Watervliet, New York, where he worked for Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation. He returned to Michigan Tech to work as a professor, researcher and later an executive, providing 30 years of service to the university.
In the mid-1960s, Ed’s research on high purity iron drew the attention of an international metallurgical society, and he was invited to deliver a paper on his research at the organization’s conference in France.
An accomplished teacher and researcher, Ed transitioned his career from academics to administration when he became the school’s employee relations manager. He was then promoted to the executive role of vice president of operations and finance for Michigan Tech.
During his 20-year tenure in that position, working with many accomplished colleagues and elected officials, they helped usher in the era of Michigan Tech being counted as one of the nation’s leading research universities.
Ed retired from Tech in 1988.
With a passion for learning and education, he was always willing to share and teach others. He served a number of organizations, including 25 years with the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School Board of Education, and was a member of the Torch Lake Lions Club for over 50 years.
He was one of the leading promoters of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. As one of the Copper Country’s leading authorities on the industrial archeology of the area, he was often sought out for his knowledge and insight on the copper mining and milling operations and the area’s industrial footprint. He gave many lectures, talks, and tours on the subject locally and has served for many years as a resource to the National Park Service in Calumet. He remained active in sharing and preserving the local history and heritage of the Copper Country up to the end of his life.
Above all else, Ed was dedicated to his family. September 3, 2018 would have been Ed and Annette’s 62nd wedding anniversary.
He was preceded in death by his infant son, Jeffery Paul; his parents, Louis and Helen Koepel; his brother, Louis; and sister, Naomi Kolb.
Ed is survived by his wife, Annette; his eight children, Ed (Sandy) Koepel, Greg (Tammy) Koepel, Laura (John) Fallon, Joe Koepel, Cathy (Kurt) Erickson, Maggie (John) Moyle, Jeff (Trina) Koepel, and Andy Koepel; his 14 grandchildren, Michelle (Jay) Anchando, Lynette (Damien) Hanley, Kimberly (Lyndon) Cox, Jamie (Jeremy) Rappana, Elizabeth (Ryan) Miller, Sara, Jacob & Claire Erickson, Adam (Rachael) Moyle, Laura Moyle, Erin (Dan) Stahl, and Amber, Chelsea, & Julia Koepel; 11 great- grandchildren, Ashley, Emily, Nathan & Trinity Hanley, Emiliana & Bryn Cox, Ryan & Jackson Rappana, Madelyn & Ellie Moyle and Theodore Stahl; his brother, Bob Koepel; and his sister, Mary (Gerry) Heide.
The family would like to thank Dr. Kass and the staff of UP Health System – Portage, Houghton County Medical Care Facility, Omega House and UP Home Health and Hospice for his care. Ed wanted to extend his heartfelt gratitude to the nurses and staff for their dedicated and compassionate care.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden with Fr. Joseph Boakye Yiadom to officiate.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at the Pearce Funeral Home in Lake Linden.
Burial will be at the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Lake Linden.
Online condolences may be left at pearcefuneralhome.com.