Elah Hepler was born April 6, 1923, the son of E. W. Hepler and Evalyn (Parks) Hepler, one of four children. He was born at home in Englewood, Colorado, and lived there until he married Margaret Rife on July 3, 1943. Their marriage lasted for over 65 years until her death on Thanksgiving Day 2008.
Elah died Aug. 27, at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, at the age of 88 years and 5 months, from pneumonia and complications from a fall. He was also preceded in death by an infant brother, Edgar, his father and mother and a sister, Zea.
Elah spent his boyhood at the home on four lots at 3000 S. Elati St. in Englewood, where there was a two-car garage, chicken houses and lots of room to play. The boys, Elah and his brother, Ovid, attended Sunday School and church together and were baptized at the same time. They also spent a lot of time at their father’s feed mill and coal yard at 3700 S. Santa Fe, between the Denver and Rio Grande and Santa Fe railroad tracks, playing in the mill and along the tracks. The mill was in the old town of Sheridan which has now been torn down. When the boys became older, they spent their time there hauling coal and feed.
After Elah married, he worked as a heavy equipment operator and farmed on 80 acres east of Fort Collins on the Larimer-Weld County line. Later, he and Margaret lived in Seattle, then on a small ranch they owned near Cheyenne in Carpenter, Wyoming. In later life, they lived in Mesa, Arizona, and more recently after retirement, in a home they purchased north of Fort Collins.
While living in Arizona, Elah and Margaret would bring their house trailer to their land east of Fort Collins for vacations. While there, they would drive the 85 miles to attend Haven Baptist Church where Ovid was a pastor. This was just one of many demonstrations of Elah’s love for the Bible, the Lord and for His work.
He is survived by two sons, Jimmy Lynn and Larry Warren; two granddaughters, Jyl Booth and Pam Schimitis; four great-grandchildren, and many other friends and relatives who mourn his passing.