Retired Major Clifton “Cliff” LeRoy Keplar, Jr. (USAF), 83, passed away on July 21, 2020 after a long illness.
Cliff was born February 26, 1937 in Boone, North Carolina, son of the late Clifton LeRoy and Alice White Keplar.
Cliff grew up in Boone, N.C., and graduated from Appalachian High School in 1955. In 1959 he graduated from Appalachian State Teachers College (Appalachian State University) with a B.S. Degree in Biology and Chemistry. He continued his education during his military service at Maxwell Air Force Base and Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. After retirement from the military, Cliff received his Master of Arts in Education from East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. in 1992.
In 1964 Cliff was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. After attending Officer Orientation Course at Brooks AFB Texas he was off to his first assignment. He was a graduate of Staff Officer School, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, the Military Management and National Security Management courses, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Leadership and Management Development Course.
During his 20 year Air Force career Cliff served at Bases in several locations including Alaska, Hawaii, Vietnam, North Dakota, Nebraska, Delaware, Alabama and Georgia. His decorations include Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross and the Meritorious Service Medal.
After retiring, Major Keplar taught Air Force Jr. ROTC at Northern Nash Senior High School in Nashville, N.C. During that time, Cliff developed, raised funds and helped construct an innovative ropes challenge course for the students and the community to encourage team building.
Cliff was happiest watching University of Alabama Football (“Roll Tide”), playing and working on the golf course and watching his grandchildren grow.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Jane Keplar Gaither.
Cliff is survived by wife, Anna Boyce Phillips-Keplar; daughter, Michelle Keplar Stevens and her husband, Ben, of Tega Cay, South Carolina; grandsons, Jack and Caden Stevens; granddaughter, Dylan Stevens; sister, Suzanne Blackmon and her husband, Greg, of Whiteville, N.C.; brother in law, Henry Gaither, of Burlington, N.C.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First Baptist Church, Boone, N.C. and will be announced at a later date. He will be interred at Arlington National Military Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation or a charity of choice.
Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, 620 Sea Island Road, Suite 288, St. Simons Island, GA 31522