Irvin Keplinger, Mechanic, Dog Breeder

August 04, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Irvin P. Keplinger Sr., a longtime Monkton Volvo mechanic and breeder of Pomeranians, died July 27 of prostate cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 73.

Mr. Keplinger, the son of chicken farmers, was born in Berwyn Heights, and was raised in White Hall and Monkton.

He attended Baltimore County public schools and earned his General Educational Development diploma when he served in the Navy as an electrician in the early 1960s.

After being discharged from the Navy, he went to work driving a tow truck for Pikeway Towing, which was owned by his brother. He later drove tractor-trailer trucks for the U.S. Postal Service and was a driver for Purolator Securities.

In addition to driving trucks, he owned and operated two service stations, one in Hereford and the other in Phoenix, Baltimore County, until the 1974 gas crisis.

After retiring from trucking in 1979, he established Irv's Repair Service on Jarrettsville Pike, which specialized in repairing Volvo automobiles. He retired in 2005.

Mr. Keplinger, who had lived in Phoenix, Baltimore County, was a former Jacksonville resident, where he bred Pomeranians under the name of Tru-Kep's Pomeranians.

A two-alarm fire in 2001 destroyed his kennel and killed a number of his award-winning show dogs, which had a reputation among Pomeranian fanciers for "sweet dispositions," reported The Baltimore Sun at the time.

Mr. Keplinger was a classical and country music fan. He also was an accomplished gourmet cook and wine lover.

His wife of 45 years, the former Trudy Bernice Pike, died in 2006.

Services were held July 31.

Surviving are three sons, Randall Keplinger of Baltimore, Daniel Keplinger of Westminster and Lawrence Keplinger of Philadelphia; a daughter, Deborah Niels of Phoenix, Baltimore County; 17 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. Another son, Irvin P. Keplinger Jr., died in 2003.

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