April 20, 1928 - August 30, 2014


Benjamin “Ben” F. Tepley Jr., 86, of Staples, MN, passed away on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at Lakewood Health System Hospital in Staples, MN. Funeral services for Ben will be 11:00 AM, Thursday, September 4, 2014 at Brenny Funeral Chapel in Staples, MN with Pastor Steve Sveom officiating. Friends and family are invited to gather for visitation one hour prior to services. Interment to follow at Evergreen Hill Cemetery in Staples, MN. Military Honors provided by Motley American Legion Post #124.

Ben was born on April 20, 1928 to Benjamin Theodore and Blanch Augustine (Devorak) Tepley of Bohemian heritage in Philbrook, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at the Church of Christ in Long Prairie, MN. Ben attended School District #20, and received his GED and two years of college while in the service. In 1948 Ben entered the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War, where he was wounded. While serving in the Army, he attained the rank of Master Sargent and was in the Corps of Engineers, a member of Company B, Second Engineer Combat Battalion, and Second Infantry Division. Ben was awarded the Bronze Star with letter “V” device for heroic achievement and also the Silver Star. Ben married Margaret Wagner in 1949 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and when he was discharged from the Army, he came home and settled down near the family farm, where he farmed with his dad. He also worked as a logger north of Brainerd during the winter months, and at Burlington Northern Tie plant in Brainerd. He started his own construction business and worked in that trade for 15 years until he became permanently disabled. Ben enjoyed the outdoors and spent many hours fishing, hunting and trapping. He loved animals and nature and could tell you anything you wanted to know about their ways. He loved working with wood and for many years passed his time in his little workshop, building birdhouses and other wooden things. Ben was a wonderful gardener, and spent hours in his gardens, he also canned much of what he grew and gave away a good share. He had a gentle side and also loved flowers; his gardens always had flowers in them.

Ben is survived by his ex-wife, Margaret; his six children; Margaret (Paul) Rousu of Callaway, MN, Marilyn Tepley of Baxter, MN, Bernadette (Mark) Peterson of River Falls, WI, Bruce (Kathy) Tepley of Culver City, CA, and Russell Tepley of Red Wing, MN; his brothers and sisters, James (Darlene) Tepley, Frank (Cheryl) Tepley, Caroline (Wilfred) Lines, and Shirley (Alan) Judd; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Benjamin Tepley the third. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Staples, MN.