Carl William Epler passed away on Friday, June 9, 2017.
Carl is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sara (Bewley) Epler; son, David Carl Epler; and daughter, Angela Epler Leary (husband, Greg). He was so very proud of his grandchildren, Amberly Louisa Epler (fiance, Brandon Kimmey-Munoz), Keenan Wallace Leary and Quinn William Leary.
He was born Dec. 12, 1928, to H. Norwood and Mercedes (Harsin) Epler in Southport.
Carl served as a WWII Civil Defense Corps air raid patrolman, riding his bike through the darkened streets of his community. As a senior in high school he was a starting point guard for the 1947 Indianapolis sectional high school basketball champion Southport Cardinals. Throughout high school and for a few years following, Carl owned milk routes with his dad for Mutual Milk Company He later joined the U.S. Army infantry division stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Upon returning home, Carl joined the Indiana State Police Sept. 1, 1955, as a trooper in Brown County. As he advanced through the ranks, he worked in many different aspects. Through the ISP training schools he enjoyed instructing and leading hundreds of new recruits and forming life-long friendships. He began working with the academy while it was housed at the Poplars in Bloomington, then through the building and opening of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. He later transitioned to appointments at the State Office Building and to Logistics at the Post Road facility. In 1978, Carl was appointed by Governor Otis Bowen the highest governmental honor a citizen of Indiana can receive, Sagamore of the Wabash. Carl retired as a major in the ISP in early 1988.
Carl and Sara met on New Year’s Eve 1956 and were married in August of 1957. They began married life in a cabin on Coffey Hill just outside Nashville. In August 1959, they welcomed Dave to the family. They have fond memories of great friends and great times during those years on Coffey Hill.
In March of 1962, the family moved to the farm outside of Bean Blossom. That May, Angie completed the family of four. Working side by side, Carl and his dad, Norwood, (and in later years, Dave) raised cattle, built and mended fences, cleared fields and baled thousands of bales of hay.
Carl and Sara were always a team; they were all and more the kids could have ever asked for. As Carl spent the month of May every year working the Indiana State Police detail at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, son Dave accompanied him every weekend, thus inspiring a lifelong love for motor racing. There wasn’t a time in Carl’s life that he did not have a pet; he instilled this love of animals in daughter Angie.
The last 30 years, Carl and Sara spent many happy hours combining their hobbies into garden railroading, building the new home on their farm, traveling and enjoying time spent with friends and family. Together they found a second home with Cottonwood Christian Church; its members continue to support and comfort Sara.
Visitation was to be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 12, with funeral services at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, all at Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home, 1682 State Road 135 North.
Interment will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, Nashville.
Contributions may be made to Cottonwood Christian Church, 2523 W. Cottonwood Road, Morgantown, IN 46160; or to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org .
Online condolences may be given at BondMitchellFuneralHome.com .