John D.Tepley

January 5, 1943 - May 13, 2017
Racine, WI



Monday, May 22, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM CDT
Preservation Hall of Racine
740 Lake Avenue
Racine, WI 53403


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Les Paul Foundation
236 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001

Life Story / Obituary


John D. Tepley, age 74, passed away Saturday, May 13, 2017 at his residence. John was born in Racine, January 5, 1943, son of the late Rudolph and Helen (Nee: Tollander) Tepley.

John owned and operated Tepley Builders for many years until his retirement building many quality homes in Racine. An accomplished musician, John played the guitar, banjo, cajun accordion, and electric steel guitar among other instruments. He formed and played in many bands over the years. John last played banjo and sang in a Dixieland Jazz Band that was as good as any band you would hear on the streets of New Orleans. John also taught guitar for many years in his basement. He passed the love of music to his children and talent to his grandchildren. He was a free spirit who will be forever remembered for his artistic abilities as a watercolor painter and a wood carver of wild birds, birds of prey and ducks. He enjoyed fishing and hunting for many years with his son, his brother, and many friends. John was also an avid model railroader building the train cars and engines himself, painting the scenery, creating the towns that filled an entire basement and even carving the life like conductors and people from wood. At one time, he had a garden railroad in his yard and then up-scaled the train to be driven and ridden and was often seen giving the neighborhood children rides.

He will be dearly missed by his children, Christine (Tony) Veranth, Eric Tepley; five grandchildren, Elle, Luke, and Clare Veranth, Sydney and Jackson Tepley; brother, Ronald (Margo) Tepley; other relatives and many dear friends.

A Celebration of John’s life will be held Monday, May 22, 2017 from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Preservation Hall of Racine, 740 Lake Avenue. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Les Paul Foundation.

A special thank you to his caregivers at Allay Hospice for their loving and compassionate care.