Allen Henry Koepke, 1960
Volume 46, Number 2, Winter 2013 (1/11/13)
Allen Henry Koepke, 1960
ALLEN HENRY KOEPKE, 73, of Cedar Rapids, passed into eternal life surrounded by his family and friends singing praise hymns on September 23, 2012 at St. Luke’s Hospital. Funeral services were held September 29, 2012 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Faith and Life Center, Rev. Perry Fruhling and Pastor Jim Coyle officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. Allen is survived by his wife, Sherril, and her children: Amy Davis (Ben, Ella, Sophia, Zoe and Miles), Chad Reedy (Melissa) and Ryan Reedy. Allen was previously married to Kay Koepke (Hoaglund) and they had four children: Scott Allen Koepke, Amy Hanisch (Steve, Emily and Alaina), Ann Koepke, and Stephen Koepke (Lynne, Anika and Andrew). He is also survived by his younger brother, WAYNE KOEPKE ‘66. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Dorothy Koepke, and his sister-in-law, Carol Koepke. Allen Henry Koepke was born on April 20, 1939 in Chicago to Henry and Dorothy (Thiel) Koepke. Having attended Mozart Elementary in Chicago, he was destined to become a musician. During his youth, Allen learned to play the piano, trombone and organ and excelled at music theory and composition. He began directing his first church choir while a junior at Luther College. His love of choral music grew while singing in The Nordic Choir under the direction of his mentor, WESTON NOBLE ‘43. Allen began his teaching career in Clear Lake, Iowa. He completed his master’s degree in Choral Composition at the University of Northern Iowa in 1967. Later that year he moved to Cedar Rapids and began teaching vocal music at Jefferson High School where he founded the West Side Delegation, launching the show choir movement in the state of Iowa. He completed his teaching career at Kirkwood Community College in 1997, after establishing a successful vocal music program. Allen directed the Young Americans, The Alleluia Chorus, The Iowa People to People Chorale, and The Cedar Rapids Follies, as well as over thirty USA tours and three international choir tours. He was a church choir director and organist for over fifty-four years in Cedar Rapids, culminating at St. Mark’s Lutheran Faith and Life Center. Allen has over 70 published compositions and commissions and was a well known teacher, conductor, adjudicator, private tutor, arranger and clinician. Allen’s honors include: Composer in Residence for Orchestra Iowa, Iowa Professor of the Year, Innovator of the Year, the Robert M. McCowan Award and several other notable composition awards. He had the privilege of hearing his Missa Brevis performed at Carnegie Hall as well as numerous compositions performed at All-State Festivals nationwide. Allen’s work has impacted the lives of countless children and adults spanning decades. His legacy will live on through the gift of his music. While his most obvious passion was music, Allen loved the Iowa Hawkeyes, golf, tennis, travel, FOX News, reading, crossword puzzles, his computer, his home in Florida, his faith and most importantly: his family. Whatever Allen did, he did with passion. His family would like to thank the countless doctors and nurses in Cedar Rapids and Rochester, Minnesota, who cared for him and touched his life during his battle with pancreatic cancer. Because of them and the prayers of so many faithful friends, Allen was able to enjoy sixteen additional years with his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Allen’s honor may be directed to the family for the future creation of a scholarship fund to benefit students of music.