He held a life membership in the National Education Association, honorary life memberships in the National and Maryland Congresses of Parents and Teachers, and was elected to membership in Phi Delta Kappa, honorary educational fraternity. During his career at HJC, he was president of the Maryland Association of Junior Colleges and served as chairman of the Maryland Council of Community College Presidents.
During World War II, he served with the office of strategic services on assignments in Cairo, Egypt; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.
He was an active member of John Wesley United Methodist Church, where he served as chairman of the pastor-parish relations committee, lay leader and lay delegate to the annual conference.
At various times, he served on the boards of the Washington County Free Library, the Washington County Hospital, the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Hagerstown Boys' Club, the Washington County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Washington County Mental Health Association, the Mason-Dixon Boy Scouts Council, and Hospice of Washington County. He was past president of the Hagerstown Kiwanis Club, and the members named their annual scholarship award in his honor.
In 1956, he received the award for distinguished service to Maryland youth, at the Annapolis session of the YMCA's Maryland youth and government program. In 1969, the Hagerstown Civitan Club named him "Man of the Year," and in 1981, the Hagerstown Junior College Alumni Association presented him with the Vision Award in recognition of the college's 35th anniversary. To honor his retirement, the HJC Board of Trustees named the college theater as the Atlee C. Kepler Theater and designated him as president-emeritus of the college.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Annabelle Sunderland Kepler; one sister, Grace K. Watson of St. Michaels, Md., and a brother, Paul E. Kepler of St. Michaels, Md.; nieces, Lynn Tobin of West Hartford, Conn., Susan Tobin of Bel Air, Md., Kathy Thornhill and Loretta Thornhill, both of Hagerstown, Md., Judith Ferrell of Arnold, Md., and Sandra Klunk of St. Michaels, Md.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Rachel K. Tobin and Ruth K. Thornhill; and a nephew, Michael Kepler.
Memorial services will be Saturday, May 1, 2010, at 11 a.m. at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 129 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown, Md., with the Rev. Richard A. Jewell and the Rev. L. Patrick Ricker officiating.
Following the service, the family will receive friends at the Merle S. Elliott Conference Center at Hagerstown Community College, 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, Md.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Atlee C. Kepler Scholarship, c/o HCC Foundation, 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, Md.