JOHN KEPPER

Col. John C. Kepper, DDS.

John Kepper during his Army days prior to moving to Salisbury

John Kepper as many of us will remember him. Photo taken at the Round Robin Cemetery Walk in approx. 2014

Dr. John C. Kepper  was born on July   25, 1919, on a small farm in Winfield,  Iowa, the second of five children born to Lois (Cannon) and Samuel Kepper.

After graduating as valedictorian from high school in 1937, John entered the Army ROTC and graduated from the  University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1944.  John met his wife, Elizabeth (Betty), while stationed in Germany and they were parents to one adopted daughter, Heidi.  Together, the three of them were stationed all over the world which led to a love a travel after his retirement. During his military career, John was awarded many medals including the Meritorious Service Medal in 1969 as Deputy Assistant for Dental Services, Office Of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Washington, DC. This award was for his development and implementation of the Dental Corps in the US Army.  He also distinguished himself by his meritorious performance of duty at Fort Dix , NJ between 1971 and 1973, by serving simultaneously as Commander, Dental Activity and Commander Dental Surgeon, US Army MEDDAC.

After retiring from the military, John and family settled in Salisbury, NH.  In 1971 John and Betty purchased a large old home built in 1785 that they proceeded to fill,  John being a lover and collector of antiques. He was also well known for his flower gardens at his home as he was an avid gardener,  he loved to cook, to make pottery, and he was a world traveler, having travelled to all 7 continents.  John was a philanthropist and regularly and anonymously contributed to the Salisbury Historical Society, the Salisbury Library, and the Salisbury Congregational Church. He volunteered at the Salisbury Historical Society as a docent in the museum, as a re-enactor in the cemetery walks and as House Manager. He also volunteered at the Salisbury Library and at the Canterbury Shaker Village in a variety of positions. Finally, John was a talented rug hooker.

John began hooking rugs in 1981 and continued with lessons and rug hooking until approximately 2009. If you were fortunate, John would show you his rugs. He selectively gave rugs to friends as gifts but many remained rolled and stored throughout his home in closets and under beds. 

John was preceded in death by both Betty (1985) and Heidi (1978). Upon his passing, at age 97 on November 13, 2016, Dr. John C. Kepper graciously entrusted the Salisbury Historical Society with his remaining 31 hooked rugs for safe keeping.