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Obituaries » John Koepke

Dr. John Koepke, 88, of Silver Spring, Md., died August 11, 2017.

He was born March 25, 1929, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the late Elmer and Meta Koepke.

After graduating from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1947, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in 1951. He earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1956, before beginning his professional training at Milwaukee Hospital as a resident in internal medicine and clinical pathology. He also earned a master’s degree from Marquette University in 1964.

Over his four-decade career, Dr. Koepke held academic appointments at colleges of Medicine at the University of Kentucky (1961-1971), the University of Iowa (1972-1979) and Duke University in Durham, N.C., (1979-1994). He held pathology professorship positions and served as director of transfusion services and hematology at each medical center.  Dr. Koepke enjoyed two sabbaticals during his career, working as a visiting scientist with Nobel Laureate Hugo Theorell at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1967 to ’68, and serving as a visiting colleague at Hammersmith Hospital in London in 1978.

A world-renowned authority in the areas of hematology laboratory management and practice, Dr. Koepke served on dozens of committees and advisory boards for professional associations, federal health agencies and international committees, developing a reputation in the areas of blood cell counting, proficiency testing and coagulation. More than 270 of his papers have been published as journal articles or book chapters, and he was the author/editor/co-editor of 13 books on the topic of hematology and laboratory science. Dr. Koepke was recognized with awards and honors from Valparaiso University (Distinguished Alumnus, 1980 and President's Award for outstanding senior, 1951) and Duke University (Professor Emeritus, 1994-).

While successful in his career, Dr. Koepke left an even more impressive record when it came to the way he cared for his family and treated others in the community. He was an eternal optimist, who maintained his Lutheran faith throughout his entire life. Dr. Koepke was also a renaissance man. He loved writing, choral music, genealogical research, drawing and painting, woodworking, travel (visiting more than 21 countries throughout the world), home projects and spending time with his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, whom he fell in love with while singing in the Valparaiso choir in 1949.

Dr. Koepke was predeceased by his loving wife in March of 2017.

Survivors include his children, Ms. Mary Fields of Silver Spring, Md.; Dr. John F. Koepke of Atlanta; Mr. Mark Koepke of Ellicott City, Maryland, and Dr. James Koepke of Warrenton; three loving daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren spread across the world.

A visitation will be before the service from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at Moser Funeral Home in Warrenton. A memorial service will begin at 2:30 p.m.  Burial will follow at Bright View Cemetery near Warrenton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cross Lutheran Church, 1821 N. 16th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53205.

Online condolences may be offered at www.moserfuneralhome.com.
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