Thomas R. "Tom" Keppler, 53, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.
Tom was born and raised in South Orange, N.J. and moved to Philadelphia, Pa., in the late 1980s. He lived in the Philadelphia region for well over 30 years. He was a graduate of Columbia High School class of 1978 and received his bachelor's degree in hospitality and marketing from Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. Tom worked for Marriott’s services for a number of years before moving on to work elsewhere. Later he became disabled, but was never unable to help others despite the constant daily pain he suffered.
Tom was active in church, First & Central Presbyterian in Wilmington, becoming a deacon and doing what he enjoyed most, feeding and hosting. He never complained, yet was in constant pain over the years. Always answering when asked how he was doing, I’m fine, then asking so how are you doing? Lending an ear, a shoulder, always being there. He believed that love and caring were demonstrated more than expressed. So he fed you, gave you comfort when needed, or simply gave of his presence that made all feel as if everything was going to be right.
Tom is survived by his partner of 21 years, Garet “Gary” Jenkin; and his beloved sister, Cathy Frietag; and nieces Nicole and Erica; his father and stepbrother. And all those who were fortunate enough to know Tom, who were more family than friends. He was well loved and will be dearly missed.