Ronald William Koeppel was born July 3, 1939, in Phlox, WI, the oldest of 8 children born to Clarence and Marie (Bissonette) Koeppel. He died September 8 at Kavanagh House after a brief bout with melanoma. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his masters degree from Phillips University in Enid, OK. Following his graduation from Notre Dame he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force. After a brief tour at Nellis AFB, NV he attended pilot training at Vance AFB, OK where he remained as an instructor pilot in T-38's. He was then stationed at Columbus AFB, MS. In 1971 he began a tour of duty during the Viet Nam war flying the OV-10 Bronco as a Forward Air Controller with the call sign Rustic 09. Upon his return to the states he was an instructor at the USAF Military Academy, CO where he helped with the plans to admit female cadets. His next tour was flying the KC-135 (tankers) out of Kincheloe AFB, MI. His final assignment was on the battle staff of Looking Glass from Offutt AFB, NE.
He retired from the Air Force and worked for NPPD in Brownville, NE as Director of Security. He moved to the Des Moines area to help care for his mother-in-law, Mildred Hettinger. He became Business Manager for Holy Trinity Catholic Church a job he truly loved. His final position was as a tax preparer for H & R Block.
Ron married Shirley Hettinger while stationed at Nellis. He is survived by his wife, 4 children: Todd (Heather) of WI, Dr. Traci Duncanson (Michael) of CO, Terry (companion, Kristine Braun) of West Des Moines and Tammi McClain (Garrett) of Alleman, IA. and 11 grandchildren. He is also survived by 5 brothers: Paul (Marilyn) of AK, Ben of WI, Greg (Vicki) of WI, John (companion, Donna Trautman) of WI, and David (Carol) of WI and 2 sisters: Sandra Lom (Tom) of FL and Helen Aiken (Bob) of WI., along with many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews.
A Wake will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Sunday, September 12 from 4:00 p.m. with the prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The family will be present to receive guests during this time. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, September 13, at Saints John and Paul Catholic Church in Altoona, IA at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be at the Iowa Veteran's Cemetery in Van Meter, IA. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Connection Café, 600 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50306 or the Saint Joseph Family Shelter, 1535 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314. The family is grateful for the care given to Ron by John Stoddard Cancer Center and Hospice of Central Iowa.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN'S CHAPEL.
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