Marjorie Kepple, 1922-2015

Published 9:00 am Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ninety-three-year-old Marjorie Stirm Kepple passed away Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1922 to Jack and Lydia Stirm, she spent her early years with her parents, grandfather “gentleman farmer” George Stirm — a connoisseur of fine porcelain and furnishings — and his wife, Daisy. From an early age, Margie was immersed in art and culture.

Marjorie Kepple

Marjorie Kepple

In 1929 the family moved to Lakewood, Ohio, and Margie grew up very much a city girl, attending high school in Cleveland and even enjoying sorority parties where Count Basie himself occasionally entertained them.

In the ’40s Margie worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, both in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. She met Bill Kepple, an aeronautical engineer at NACA, and he won her heart. Following a brief time in California, they made their home in Albert Lea.

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Margie never allowed the quieter life of Albert Lea to eclipse her wonder or curb her curiosity. She continued to enjoy a broader world view through her travels to Europe and Asia, her loyal reading of The New Yorker, and her interest in all things beautiful — especially fine clothes and furniture. She loved being current about world events and unique people, and particularly enjoyed sharing a spicy story of contemporary intrigue.

As her daughter, Carol, began school, Margie worked with Bev Nolander at Design Studio East.  Margie’s keen eye attracted her to Asian art and culture before it became well known and she was notable for her ability to identify valuable items at estate sales. Margie passed on her knowledge and impeccable sense of style to her daughter, Carol, and granddaughters Natalee and Madeline.

As her health declined, Margie enjoyed the world from her couch near the window overlooking Fountain Lake with a miniature poodle at her side. Married to husband, Bill, for nearly 70 years, Margie Kepple followed her own path. She is remembered for her whimsical humor, her candor and her unique perspective on life. The sometimes “off beat” city girl left an impression on all she met.

Services will be Dec.13 at Christ Episcopal Church in Albert Lea. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. with a celebration of Margie’s life following at noon. Memorials are preferred to the Albert Lea Education Foundation 241 Challenge, the Tibetan Education Action of Minnesota or to a recipient of the donor’s choice.