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Joseph D. ‘Joe’ Keppler, 94, Vandalia

Joseph D. “Joe” Keppler, 94, of Vandalia, was reunited with the love of his life at 3:15 PM, Wednesday, February 14, 2024, Valentine’s Day, at SBL Fayette County Hospital, Vandalia.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday at Bethel Baptist Church, Vandalia with Dr. Ben Foxworth, Dennis Hutchison and the Rev. Joe Lawson officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church. Following services, cremation rites will be accorded, with inurnment at a later date in Ritter Cemetery, Vandalia. Memorials: Donor’s choice. Online condolences can be expressed at

Joseph Donald Keppler was born on December 09, 1929 in Vandalia, IL, the son of Kenneth and Thelma (Paradee) Keppler. He married the love of his life, Beverly “Joan” Stanley, on June 10, 1950; together they celebrated 68 years of marriage and raised four children before her passing on July 17, 2018.

In his younger years, Joe was a mechanic at Craycroft Ford Motor Co. in Vandalia and was also employed by the Ohio Oil Field. In 1961, he established Joe’s Auto Repair, a family-owned and operated business, with his wife and son, Kevin. Joe’s repair shop was his pride and joy, taking up most of his time. He loved talking and telling stories to his customers. Apart from his business, he enjoyed watching stock car races, coon hunting, driving “around the horn” (you never knew where you might see him), and in the fall, spending time at Happy Hollow Family Farms. Most of all, he cherished time with his family.

Joe was a proud U.S. Navy Veteran, serving his country from 1947-1950. He was also a devout and faithful member of Bethel Baptist Church; member of the Masonic Temperance Lodge #16; and member of Crawford-Hale American Legion Post # 95; all of Vandalia.

He is survived by sons, Michael Keppler and wife Monique of Sherman, and Kevin Keppler and wife Shelly of Vandalia; daughter, Brenda Kistler of Vandalia; brothers, Charles Keppler, Tom Keppler and wife Donna, and Bill Keppler and wife Teresa; sisters, Juanita and husband Richard Musson, Norma and husband Frank Stinebring, Joann and husband Floyd Hopkins, Helen Keppler; 11 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Joan; son, David Keppler; granddaughter, Monica Kistler; great-granddaughter, Kayley DeFreese; son-in-law, David Kistler; brothers, Kenny and Larry; sisters, Mary and Betty.

Joseph D. ‘Joe’ Keppler