2018-02-08 / Obituaries



Joseph Douglas Pepper, age 78, of Mt. Pleasant and Bay Port, went to see God on February 2, 2018, at the Mid Michigan Health in Mt. Pleasant.

Joseph was born

December 24, 1939, to Elmer and Elenor (Ellsworth) Pepper at the University Hospital in Ann Arbor. He was awarded to the state at an early age, being placed in an orphanage in Ann Arbor. He was placed in many foster homes in Michigan and found his home in Sebewaing. He liked and hid in an oat bin until the state lady left. He remembered his foster dad saying if he liked living with them that much he could stay. He was raised on a farm owned by Edgar and Alfreda Boesch in Sebewaing. He grew up with the Boesch siblings, Andre, Brice, Emily, Vonny, Doralee and Leroy, until joining the U.S. Marine Corp. in 1957, serving in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged from the military, Joe stayed in California and attended Foothill College, majoring in Law Enforcement. He met Norene Reynolds on April 30, 1965. They married the following year on April 30, 1966 in Reno, Nevada. In March 1969, they moved to Michigan where they purchased a farm near Mt. Pleasant.

Joe had many careers in the business world. He was a purchasing buyer for two large electric firms in Michigan and Minnesota, law enforcement in San Jose, California, Chief of Police for Gladbrook and Hull, Iowa, and Sheriff’s Dept. in Mt. Pleasant. He also ran for Sheriff in Isabella County, to his defeat. Joe was also an auditor for the State of Michigan, also owning his own business, Empire Products, in Mt. Pleasant.

Joe enjoyed his time with his family, farming, wood working, fishing, traveling and the great outdoors. He really liked being on Lake Huron and fishing for catfish.

Joe is survived by his wife, Norene; son, Joseph (Sabrina) Pepper of Warner, Oklahoma; daughter, Cassie (Jeff) Simmons of Gladwin; three grandchildren; special friend he called his brother, Frank (Wilma) Deming of Bay Port; and friend, Leon (Sue) Swartzendruber of Ubly. He also felt a close relationship with his wife’s family in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, Washington and Canada. His last request was to his friend and marine corp. warrior, Thomas Miller, “This is Rover 1 to Rover 4. I am coming home to join you.”

The service was held at Community of Christ Church in Bay Port.

Burial was in the New Bay Port Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be given to the Wounded Warrior Project or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements handled by Juengel & Mellendorf Funeral Home in Sebewaing.

Share a memory at: www.jmfuneralhome.com

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