David Allen Pepke, 64
David Allen Pepke passed peacefully on April 7, 2015, at age 64. David began his journey in Wausau, where he spent winters on the slopes of Rib Mountain and summers working at Pepke’s Dairy Queen. David discovered his lifelong passion in the Wausau High School band, where he began playing drums. Shortly after high school graduation, in an iconic 1960s gesture, he moved to San Francisco to pursue his dream of playing drums in a rock band. And he realized that dream, playing for 20 years with several bands in the Bay Area and then later in Las Vegas. The ’60s were a special time, and the Bay Area was a great place to experience the era of “peace, love and understanding.” To borrow from Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.” In his time there, David had many great experiences and accumulated many wonderful memories, the kind of memories that those who went right into “normal” careers can only imagine. In San Francisco, he married and had a daughter, Maria. And his faithful dog, Cisco, was with him every step of the way.
In 1990, David returned to Wisconsin, put his drums in the closet (for a while) and pursued a career in printed circuit board sales.
He married Brenda, had two wonderful children and settled down to a life at home with family and friends. While no longer on “the road,” David spent many sunny afternoons on the road riding his Harley-Davison motorcycle. As he settled into his life in Milwaukee, then Whitefish Bay, then Cedarburg, he was involved in his community and his church – both of which were pillars of strength and comfort both during the good times and in his final months. A few years back he pulled his drums out of the closet and started playing in his church band and later in a local band. He still loved drumming and never missed a beat. Earlier this year, David took a trip back to California with his children, where he was able to revisit old friends and reminisce about old times.
It was a special trip for all.
David had many close friends at Community United Methodist Church and was very close to Pastor Dave Blackmer – who ministered regularly to David through the challenging times, which brought David much comfort and peace. His good friend, Jerry Unger, was also a steadfast source of confidence and strength.
David is survived by his children, Lauren (17) and Ben (15); his mother, Eleanor; his siblings, Mary Pepke, Michael (Kate) Pepke and Missy (Jeff) Kolbeck; five nephews and nieces; and many, many close and caring friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald, and his daughter, Maria. David will be remembered by his family and friends for many things – his heart, his faith, his friendship – but the one quality we all experienced and will all remember is David’s wonderful, at times zany, sense of humor. He was a really funny guy – from the beginning, right up to the end.
The family wants to especially thank the professionals at the Lawlis Family Hospice who cared for David in his final weeks. Their compassion and commitment was truly inspirational and very much appreciated.
A service of remembrance will be held at Community United Methodist Church in Cedarburg on Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 1:30 p.m.
Refreshments and fellowship will follow the service.