Energetic veteran known for sense of humor
Thomas W. Zepp rarely got frustrated as he spent nearly two years on a transplant list waiting for a new liver, his wife said.
“I don't think he was ever frustrated that they couldn't find a liver,” Lucille Zepp, said Friday. “I think he was just frustrated that he couldn't do a lot of the things he did before. He was so physically fit and active. He was always working and fixing things and riding his motorcycle. He was doing something all the time.”
Thomas W. Zepp of Duquesne died from complications of liver disease Wednesday, June 19, 2013. He was 55.
Mr. Zepp worked in Central Blood Bank for nearly 17 years as a medical assistant, drawing blood from patients until he had to leave because of disability within the last several years.
“The people there loved him as much, I think, as he loved them,” Lucille Zepp said, adding that the couple met while working there together. “He was always making people laugh there.”
Mr. Zepp started a military Reserve career with the Army National Guard but then joined the Air Force 171st Air Refueling Wing in Moon, retiring as a master sergeant in 2006. There, his wife said. Mr. Zepp worked in the life support section, taking care of crew equipment including oxygen and helmets. He taught crews survival skills, including medical training and use of life rafts, tents and flares, to survive until rescued. He trained Boy Scouts in survival techniques and gave demonstrations at air shows.
“He really liked to be involved in things like that,” Lucille Zepp said.
Mr. Zepp loved motorcycles, his wife said, and was a member of the Second Chance Motorcycle Club, frequently riding with club members.
Lucille Zepp said her husband was an avid runner and was proud of completing the Great Race twice, once in 1988 and again in 1992.
In addition to his wife, Lucille, Mr. Zepp is survived by stepchildren Lori Grybel of Verona, Sharon Zapf of McCandless and Amy Grybel of Harmarville; siblings Brenda D. Evelyn of Duquesne, William L. Szep of Indiana, and Trisha Wilcox of Columbia, S.C.; several nieces and nephews and other family members. He was preceded in death by a sister, Carole Schmoll.
Family and friends will be received from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Walter J. Zalewski Funeral Home, 216 44th St., Lawrenceville. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Christ the Light of the World Parish, 32 S. 1st St., Duquesne. Burial will follow in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies with full military honors. Members of the Second Chance Motorcycle Club will provide an escort for the funeral procession.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: The series that will define these Pirates
- Steelers’ Polamalu relying on smarts as physical skills decline
- Steelers’ Timmons looks to reverse defense’s struggles
- Pirates hold on to beat Red Sox, complete 3-game sweep at PNC
- Crosby, Malkin to miss start of Penguins camp
- Pitt star running back Conner adjusting to higher profile this year
- Sutersville principal’s comments taken out of context, district claims
- Fire ravages 2 buildings in downtown New Kensington
- Alligator spotted along the banks of the Allegheny River in Cheswick
- Butler County man dies in accident on Route 68
- Scots reject independence from United Kingdom in historic vote