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J. Harley Epperson Jr.

April 7, 1919 ~ June 28, 2015 (age 96)
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Harley Epperson Jr., 96, of Maryville, Missouri, formerly of Quincy, Illinois, died at 4:10 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2015, at the Golden Living Center in Maryville, Missouri.

Harley was born on April 7, 1919 in Kirksville, Missouri on the family farm. Harley was the son of Harley Senior and Helena Kumm Epperson. He married Elma Marie Brickman on August 24, 1940 in Quincy, Illinois.  She survives and is living at the Golden Living Center in Maryville, Missouri.

Harley was a member of the Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ where he was active with Men's Brotherhood, served on the Church Council, and taught Sunday school. He was also a member of the Quincy American Legion Post 37, VFW Post 5126 and the DAV. Harley proudly served his country in Company L 309th Infantry Regiment 78th Infantry Division during WW II.

Harley worked for Quincy Compressor before he went to Germany in 1944. When he returned from the Second World War, he joined his dad, Harley Sr., as a partner at Epperson’s Shoe Repair. Harley expanded the business to include saw sharpening and lawnmower repair. He also tucked in combine canvas replacement and repair for good measure.

Elma joined both Harleys in the business that operated at 1735 Broadway. In 1963, Harley and Elma purchased a parcel at 1220 Broadway and built a Butler building. They operated Epperson's Shoe Repair, Lawnmower, and Saw Service from this site for many years. Harley and Elma served the Quincy community as small business owners for over 60 years.

In his retirement, Harley entered the electronic age and learned to use a computer. He took an online writing course at John Wood Community College. He was a gifted storyteller and began expressing his rich imagination and humor by writing fictional stories. There are several thick notebooks on his shelf of these amazing stories. Until recently, he loved surfing the internet. He was the first person at Golden Living Center to have internet access in his room.

Harley’s survivors include his wife of 74 years, Elma; his son, Denny Epperson (Bonnie) of Santa Barbara, California; his daughter, Nancy Foley of Maryville, Missouri; her sons Justin Foley (Laura) of Columbia, Missouri and their son David, two; Trevor Foley (Kami) from Jefferson City, Missouri and their two children Teagan, five and Tenley sixteen months; his daughter Jan Austin Bayless (Bob) of Mill Valley, California; her son Cael Kendall (Rebecca) of Charlottesville, Virginia and their two children Opal, eight and Zeb, five; and many loving nieces and nephews.

Mr. Epperson was preceded in death by his parents; and three sisters, Fern Bowen (Don), Alma Brown (Harold) and Winifred Wills (Tom).

Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 10:30 in the Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home with Rev. Tim White officiating.  Burial with Military Honors by Quincy American Legion Post 37 and the Illinois National Guard Funeral Honors Detail will be in Greenmount Cemetery.  

Visitation will be Friday morning from 9:30 until the time of service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ.
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