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Howard C. Koeppen

(USCS #3,820)

By Steve Shay

This obituary first appeared in the October 1976 issue of the USCS Log:

“Howard C. Koeppen, age 65, died on August 19, 1976, at Divine Savior Hospital in Portage, Wisconsin, following an extended illness. Howard was past editor of the USCS Log for several years, having accepted these duties in September 1968, and retiring from them when ill health required him to do so in April 1976.

Howard served the USCS as President (1965-67), Secretary-Treasurer (1963-65) and as Director (1967-76). His time and effort which he so generously donated to the USCS is evident in the years he served as Librarian of the Alfred Dowle Memorial Library and the Management of Postcard Sales. He also served as Business Manage of the Catalogue for 10 years.

Howard was a charter member of the Commodore Preble Chapter and a Moffett Chapter member. He often traveled around the country visiting many of the local chapters and attended nearly all the USCS National Conventions. He helped organize the USS Cleveland Chapter.

His philatelic interests were not limited to the USCS, he served the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs as Secretary-Treasurer (1965), Southwest Regional Vice President (1966-68) and as President from 1974 until his resignation in May 1976.

Howard was a retired principal of the Shullsberg Elementary School in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. He was a former member of the Portage Kiwanis Club, a charter member and past president of the Rio Kiwanis Club. He was also active in the Boy Scouts of America.”

Howard was survived by his wife, a son and daughter and eleven grandchildren.

There were seven letters from members commenting on Howard’s contributions to the hobby and USCS. Forrest Swisher noted that Howard not only edited the Log but also frequently worked with the printer, checked mailing lists and did special mailings. He also commented that only the Secretary-Treasurer can have any idea of the amount of work Howard did. LaRita and Martin Longseth commented on their friendship and noted that they often traveled to USCS events together. (Editor: I’ve seen mention that Howard visited the USS Saginaw Chapter in an old Saginaw newsletter.) Frank Boylan related how when Secretary-Treasurer Calvin Seabold died after being elected to office, Howard stepped up and volunteered to do the job.

He also related how he had taken over the Log from Alfred Dowle and Howard presented a printer to Frank that could produce a more professional Log at the same price (the Log was typewritten at the time) and Howard ended up taking over as editor and publisher.

Herb Rommel had these comments: “…His long tenure as Log Editor would alone be a magnificent monument to him, but he also established the postcard service, both rendering a service to collectors who desired pictures with their cancels and raising a large sum for the Society. He established the library and he ran auctions to raise money for the catalog. He was a keen competitor and a loyal supporter of the exhibitions. We miss him.”

Howard is listed in the Cachet Makers Catalog as having prepared typewritten cachets during the 1959-1962 time period.

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