Charles R. Bepler, 82, of Upper Providence, Delaware County, a physician in Media for 48 years, died Wednesday at Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media of complications from a stroke.
Dr. Bepler initially had an internal medicine practice before concentrating on rheumatology. He closed his office in January when he retired. Many of his long-time patients were disabled, said his wife, Katherine Wilhoyte Bepler, and he often made house calls.
A native of Wilkinsburg, in Western Pennsylvania, Dr. Bepler attended Princeton University and earned a medical degree from Temple University. During the Korean War, he was an Army physician in Pusan, South Korea. He befriended the Korean people, his wife said, and he and another Army doctor established an orphanage that is still in existence.
After his discharge, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Bepler was the physicians' representative on the board of managers of Riddle Memorial Hospital when Riddle opened in 1963 and was later chief of the hospital's medical staff.
He enjoyed fly-fishing, skiing, and military history.
In addition to his wife of 21 years, he is survived by sons Jonathan, Timothy and Alex; daughters Robin Queenan and Marcy Beitle; and seven grandchildren. He is predeceased by son Charles Jr., who died in 2003, and by his former wife, Sara Fitzcharles.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County, 145 West Rose Tree Rd., Media.