PIERCE — Services for Darin L. Koepke, 53, Hadar, will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Pierce. The Rev. Jacob Tuma will officiate with burial in Zion East Lutheran Cemetery in rural Hoskins.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at Stonacek Funeral Chapel in Norfolk.
Darin, a mentor to many and a friend to all, passed away Oct. 21, 2021, at BryanWest MedicalCenter in Lincoln, surrounded by his “three girls,” his loving spouse and two beautiful daughters.
Born on Feb. 3, 1968, in Norfolk to Larry and Diane (Koehler) Koepke, he was a farmer and sheep herder from beginning to the end. Darin was baptized on Feb. 25, 1968, and confirmed May 30, 1982, at Zion East Lutheran Church in Hoskins. He was a graduate of Pierce High School, class of 1986. He then attended Northeast Community College and graduated in 1988, where he was later inducted into the N.E.C.C. Hall of Success for his devotion to agriculture.
He celebrated 33 years of marriage with his high school sweetheart, Kelli Winder. They were married July 23, 1988. His world was magnified with the birth of his two daughters, Kayla and Krystina, and later his four, soon-to-be five, grandchildren.
Darin actively served in his local church, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pierce. He was an elder and was instrumental on many committees, shepherding young men and starting the first local live nativity scene at the church.
Agriculture was Darin’s livelihood. He eventually landed his dream job at Agrex Inc., where he has worked for the past 22 years. He loved the industry and building genuine relationships with every person he came in contact with. He was wise beyond his education and many people of all ages sought his advice and benefitted from his counsel. He will be missed by many.
Outside of his career, Darin loved his family; he adored his spouse more than anything else. Darin was a faithful father and avid sports fan as he traveled the country never missing his daughters’ college track meets or volleyball games. He still believed he could outrun and out jump them. He loved Casey’s pizza date night with his spouse and sneaking any sugared beverage to his grandchildren.
He faithfully passed on his love for John Deere tractors to his grandsons. He will be remembered for his wildly entertaining stories, relentless competitive spirit, his unfailing work ethic, his generous smile, his big bear hugs, his willingness to come at any time to help a neighbor in need, and his devotion to do the right thing to the extent of the sacrifice of himself.
His memory will be cherished and kept alive by his spouse, Kelli Koepke of Hadar; daughter Kayla (Shea) Scalise of Omaha and daughter Krystina (Maddie) Koepke of Lincoln; grandchildren Naomi, Celeste, Uriah and Malachi Scalise; father Larry Koepke of Hoskins; a brother, Dennis (Jennifer) Koepke of Pierce; sister Dawn (Brett) Schroeder of West Point; in-laws and numerous extended family members.
He joyfully reunited with his mother, Diane Koepke; grandparents Lester (Irene) Koepke, Gilbert (Esther) Koehler; and two cousins, Austin and Billy Joe; and a brother-in-law, Alan Winder.
Darin will forever be remembered as a hero. John 15:13 — “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his brothers.”
Music will be provided by organist Grace Tuma with recorded song, “Why God,” by Austin French. Congregational hymns will be “Praise To God The One That Breaks The Darkness,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and “Come Thou Fount To Every Blessing.”
Casketbearers will be Tim Brabec, Dave Reynolds, Tyler Unseld, Hunter Fretz, Brady Nutzman, Erik Krotzinger, Eric Beard and Brian Flaata.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the family for a later designation.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.stonacekfuneralchapel.com.