Edward (Ed) Kerwin Hoepner died December 1, 2023, peacefully at his home surrounded by
family at age 81.
He was born in Waterloo, Iowa to Gerald and Virginia Hoepner; raised on a farm outside of
Reinbeck, where he loved working alongside his dad. He graduated from High school in 1961.
He played the trombone in school, was on the football team.
While stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, Ed served as an aircraft mechanic. It
was during that time he placed his faith in Christ Jesus as Savior. That faith became the guiding
factor of his life. He met his wife of 59 years, Marie Ihmels, there and they later had three
children; Kristine (Kris), Gerald (Jerry), and Brenda.
He taught Industrial Arts at Bowdle High School in South Dakota after he graduated from the
University of Northern Iowa in 1970 and North American Baptist Seminary in 1972.
Ed and Marie served as missionaries in Cameroon and Nigeria, West Africa, 1973-1980. Ed
worked as business manager of the General/Leprosy hospital in Cameroon. There he helped
establish an industrial trade school and was a teacher of Theological Education by Extension.
The Hoepners moved to Ames, Iowa, after the mission field; there they were active members of
the First Evangelical Free Church, where they volunteered with International Students
Incorporated (ISI), befriending international students at the university. ISI is what brought them
to Colorado Springs to serve at the ISI headquarters. Soon after moving to Colorado, Ed began
work as a Civil Engineering Tech at NORAD until his retirement in 2006.
Ed and Marie enjoyed travel, especially to partner with and encourage Christian missions
around the world. They traveled to New Mexico, Poland, India, Egypt, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico
City, Alaska, and Cameroon. Ed also enjoyed exploring locally with friends and family on many
camping and four wheel drive trips.
Ed volunteered at many service organizations, where he put to use his training and certifications
in HAM radio, chaplaincy, mechanical knowledge, and emergency response. The organizations
he partnered with include Civil Air Patrol, Mercy’s Gate, Citizens Emergency Response Team, El
Paso County Sheriff Chaplain Corps, and the Special Communications Unit (SCU) and their
vehicle. He helped establish the local chapter of the International Fellowship of Chaplains. He
was often among the first to volunteer, putting to use his unique ability to problem solve, build,
and create one-of-a-kind solutions.
Ed was an active member of Faith Evangelical Free Church, serving in the men’s ministry,
missions committee, leadership positions, and the AWANA program. He was a man of faith who
believed in prayer. He listened to the needs of others and prayed for them in their times of
trouble and distress. Later in life, he learned much about accompanying people in grief and
sorrow. He spent much time in his chair praying for others.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents and two children; Kris Jaeger and Jerry Hoepner. He
is survived by his beloved wife, Marie Hoepner; daughter, Brenda (Jeff Wright); son-in-law, Paul
Jaeger; daughter-in-law Melissa Hoepner; and three grandchildren, Micah Wright, Elsa Wright,
and Quinn Hoepner; and sisters: Leanne Puglielli, Gayle Hoepner, and Mary Jo Hoepner.
A Memorial service and reception will be held Saturday, January 6, 2024, 11 a.m. at Faith
Evangelical Free Church, 6065 Oakwood Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80923. The service will
be live streamed on YouTube. Inurnment will be at Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO.
Consider a memorial donation in his honor to Mercy’s Gate,