Rev. Kepple's Story
Rev. Kepple Eugene Bolen, 88 years of age, was called home peacefully on Sunday, February 18, 2018, surrounded by his loving wife and family.
He was the son of the late William Lundy and Dolly Ann Lilly Bolen of Coal City.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Maggie Meadows and O'Rita Polk; by brothers Clenda, Seth, Edsel, Don, Alvis and Varney Bolen; his daughter, Debra Bolen Smith; two grandchildren, Joshua Caldwell and Christian Isaac Bolen and one great-grandchild, Cassie Canady.
Kepple is survived by his beautiful, loving wife of 69 years, Joyce Evelyn Holt Bolen; his children: Drema and Eddie Alderman of Coal City, Deana and Rocky Sexton of Coal City, Kepple, Jr. and Crystal Bolen of Jumping Branch, Chris and Sherry Bolen of Coal City, Mark and Debbie Bolen of Coal City, and Faith and Jason Lewis of Lewisburg. He is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 7 great-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and a brother, Franklin Bolen of Coal City.
Kepple was a loving and affectionate man. No matter what role he played in your life, whether he was your father, grandfather, Pastor, friend, or co-worker, you knew he loved you unconditionally. As a husband, he served his wife faithfully for 69 years. He often brought her coffee in the mornings. He told her he loved her every single night. When he introduced her, his eyes sparkled with delight. He cherished her and she him. As a father, it was not his harshness or heavy hand that won your devotion, it was his love and forgiveness that drew you closer. His grandchildren all knew his love and playfulness. He was known to some as, "Papaw Amen." He loved to make them laugh and he hated to see them cry. He was so proud of all of them.
Kepple was called to preach 60 years ago. As an Evangelist and Pastor, he has preached God's Word and His love throughout most of the state and into Virginia. As pastor, he would sit down in his chair, phone in hand, week upon week and call everyone in his care. He would ask of your well-being, see how he could serve you, and end every call with, "I love you brother" or "I love you sister" and you knew he meant it. He was mentor to many young ministers throughout the state and beyond, stretching even to other countries through the work of young missionaries. He was a fiery little preacher, often weeping into his handkerchief and overcome by the Spirit, he'd shout, "Whoopie!" He often sacrificed time with his wife and children he loved so well to be obedient to the One he loved most. His family counts it all blessing.
He worked tirelessly at numerous jobs throughout his life to provide and care for his large and often growing family. In his early years, he worked at the Havre de Grace Proving Grounds in Maryland. He also worked as a cook, a carpenter, and as a coal miner. He found his niche in brick and stone masonry work for which he is renowned throughout most of Southern West Virginia and western Virginia. His skill in craftsmanship may best be summed up in the design and construction of his hand-built log and stone home.
Kepple was an athlete and skillful competitor, even into his 80's; from roller skating, billiards, golf, Frisbee, horseshoes, ping-pong, and softball, to winning the Alderson 4th of July Cornhole Tournament at the age of 83. He loved to play. He played to win, but with kindness and joy that made his competitors fast friends. He loved to dance with his wife and daughters. He was a talented and gifted musician and songwriter. He loved to plant a big garden. He loved Folger's coffee, fatback bacon, and Joyce's biscuits.
The world is truly a better place because of Kepple Bolen. He will be dearly missed.
Funeral services will be conducted at Family Worship Center, 224 Pinewood Drive, Beckley, WV, on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at noon with Rev. Gary Eskins officiating. Burial will follow at Thompson Cemetery at Coal City.
Friends may visit with the family from 6 PM until 9 PM on Tuesday at the church.
Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Private online condolences, floral tributes, and other expressions of sympathy may be directed to the family via our guestbook at www.roseandquesenberry.net.
Arrangements are by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street, Beckley, WV.
Published on February 19, 2018