Honor a veteran with a memorial brick in the new Veteran's Memorial

Monday, February 23, 2015

Joe Epler receiving a certificate from Kiwanis President, Ray Walters.

The Shoreline Veterans Association, sponsored by American Legion Post 227, is raising money to build a Veterans Recognition Site. The site will be adjacent to the north side of the Shoreline City Hall and is intended to recognize all U.S. veterans.

To help raise funds to build the site and to recognize veterans, the Shoreline Veterans Association is selling memorial bricks at $100 each. Each brick will have a veteran’s name, rank, branch of service and dates of service inscribed. The bricks will form an attractive patio at the site.

The Association hopes that many people will contribute $100 to have a brick inscribed for themselves or for veteran friends.

For example, Post 227 member, Carroll Goering has paid to have a brick inscribed for his friend, Joseph Orville Epler.

Joe was born in Sherwood, Oregon, on February 18, 1911, to Joseph Andrew and Laura Epler. The family moved to Seattle in 1912, where Joe attended Leschi Grade School and Garfield High School. In 1928, the family moved to West Seattle and Joe switched to West Seattle High School. He competed on the high school track team and, in 1930, the team won the All-City championship. After high school, Joe turned down a scholarship to Washington State College because the depression had begun and the family needed money. Joe worked in the Leschi grocery store for five years while attending night school to further his education.
Joe joined the U.S. Marine Corps reserve at Sand Point Naval Air Station, where he served as an aviator for eight years, flying the famous “Hell Divers.” He built his own glider and flew it out of Boeing field in the 1930s. 
Joe worked for ten years as a fire engine driver for the Seattle Fire Department. He also co-owned a hardware store, helped organize the Queen City Savings and Loan Association and worked as a business consultant with responsibilities for planning and managing over ten international conventions. He was involved with a number of civic organizations, including Kiwanis. He joined the North Central Seattle Kiwanis Club in 1945 and is still a member. He served as the Kiwanis club president and as Governor of the Kiwanis Pacific Northwest region.

The World War II veterans are at an age where their numbers are diminishing rapidly. It would be great to have the Veterans Recognition Site completed as quickly as possible while these veterans are still alive to see their bricks. If you would like to honor a veteran while contributing toward the completion of the site, you can contact the project chair, Dwight Stevens


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