Roy E. Peppe r , longtime resident of Frostburg went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 15, surrounded by his family in their home in Orlando, Florida. He was 93. A member of Trinity Assembly of God in Midlothian where he often walked to weekly Bible study, he also attended services at St Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando while wintering there near his family.
An exceptional athlete, Roy played on the very first football team fielded at Beall High School and earned 11 Varsity Letters at Frostburg State (Teacher's) College where he Captained several teams, was an All-State Soccer player, editor of the newspaper and Student Body President. Upon graduation, he was named in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He did post graduate work at WVU and George Washington University, teaching at both institutions as well.
Roy quit school and enlisted in the US Navy on his seventeenth birthday and saw combat duty in the Pacific aboard several Liberty ships, primarily the USS Polk County. His combat duties put him on the beaches of Iwo Jima during some intense fighting. He was aboard his LST in Tokyo Bay while General MacArthur signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on September 2, 1945 aboard the Battleship Missouri. Returning from WWII, he continued to serve in the US Naval Reserve while finishing his senior year at Beall High School (where he met his Bride to be, Darlene) and then pursuing his college education with the assistance of the GI Bill. He retired after thirty-three years of service, attaining the rank of CWO-4.
After graduation from Frostburg State Teacher's College he began his teaching career, and wooed the love of his life, Darlene Brain, of Midlothian, who was also a teacher and graduate of FSTC. After they married, they began their lives together in a tiny home he remodeled in Midlothian with help from his Father-in-Law Ralph Brain, who would become one of his closest friends. Ralph's wife Ruth soon became the mother he adored, his own loving mother having died while he was quite young. When their daughter Cyndee was born, Roy would often find himself working three or occasionally four part-time jobs to save the down payment and build a home for his family in Frostburg, and to provide his wife and daughter with the life style he desired for them.
A beloved teacher in Allegany County, he was selected to be a Supervisor in St Mary's County, returning after several years to Allegany County where he retired, having spent thirty years teaching, writing proposals for federal grants, building schools and managing personnel and budgets. He was interviewing for a job as School Superintendent when his doctor advised him to pursue something less stressful due to his health.
The one word that defined the life of Roy Pepper was “generous” and he was generous to a fault, not only with his money but with his time.
He was a leader in Boy Scouts of America for forty years, even though he had no sons.He not only counseled numerous merit badges, he hiked the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain Georgia to Katahdin Mountain Maine, and also taught diving, swimming and life-saving among various other Scouting skills.
Roy belonged to many civic, military, community and fraternal organizations including the American Legion Post 13, the VFW Post 1417, Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 245, Scottish Rite of Free Masonry and Ali Ghan Shrine Club of Cumberland, Mt. Lodge #99 AF&AM and Loyal Order of Moose of Frostburg. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of Maryland, was President of the Associated Charities of Allegany County and President of Rotary Club of Frostburg, receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award in recognition of his contributions. He was President of the Allegany County Teacher's Association for two years, first President of MAPSCE, Adult Education Association of Maryland, a member of the Allegany County Retired Teachers Association and the Maryland Retired Teachers Association.
After retiring from the Allegany County School Board, Roy founded Pepper's Inc and was President and CEO for twenty years. Starting with a small office, show room and warehouse behind Southern States in Cumberland, he grew the business into a recognized regional distributor of restaurant, custodial equipment and supplies at its current location in downtown Cumberland.
Born in Elizabeth West Virginia, he was preceded in death by Roy C and Sarah Jane Lynch) Pepper, and was the last survivor of their eight children. He was married to Julia Darlene Pepper (nee Brain), also of Frostburg for 67 years. He is also survived by his daughter Cynthia Emmer, his son-in-law William Emmer, and his beloved grandchildren Sarah Jane, Allyson Marie and Michael Bryan Emmer, as well as numerous Sisters-in-Law, Brothers-in-Law, nieces and nephews and cousins.
Viewing will be at Trinity Assembly of God, Midlothian, MD at 1:00 PM Wednesday, September 23, followed there by the Christian Celebration of Eternal Life service at 2:00 PM. A grave side service will be at Frostburg Memorial Park at 4:00 PM where military honors will be accorded, followed by a fellowship meal back at the church.
Donations in his honor in lieu of flowers to Trinity Assembly of God or to the Veterans Organization of your choice are appreciated.