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Lance T. Kepler

Obituary for Lance T. Kepler

July 2, 1947 - October 5, 2019
Cleveland, Ohio | Age 72

Cherished Brother, Step-Father, and Grandfather


LANCE T. KEPLER, Son of Ray O (deceased) and Camilla A. (nee Kolarik) (deceased) passed away October 5, 2019. He is survived by his brother Marc and stepsons Rob (Kitty) and Steve Russ and grandchildren Ally and Colin Russ. He was a U. S. Army Corps of Engineer Veteran. He was active in sports all his life; he ran track and field and cross country at West Technical High School. He was an accomplished billiards and pool player, having toured with the National Wheelchair Pool players Association. He taught billiards and golf for over fifty years achieving the first B.C.A. Master Instructor Level 4 in a wheelchair. He was a Certified Master Instructor with the Professional Billiards Association and the Cue Sports Alliance. He was a Billiards Congress of America Certified Referee and Head Referee for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Ohio games in 2012. He was a member of several organizations and worked with many tournaments, including being a board member of the National Wheelchair Association and the Paralyzed Veterans Association of America Buckeye Chapter. He played in the National Paralyzed Veterans Games in Air Rifle and Billiards. He conducted Pool Clinics and spent over 2500 volunteer hours on the Spinal Cord Unit at the Louis Stokes V. A. Hospital at Wade Park, in Cleveland Ohio. Friends may call at the BUSCH FUNERAL HOME, 7501 RIDGE ROAD, PARMA FROM 2:00 PM UNTIL THE TIME OF THE SERVICE AT 4:00 PM, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2019. Interment at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Seville, Ohio on Tuesday, October 15 at 1:00 PM. PLEASE GATHER AT CEMETERY by 12:45 PM. 440-842-7800

Written By: Lance T. Kepler
March 26th, 2015

Playing Experience: Over 60 years playing Pool and Billiards.

Games: 14.1 Continuous, 7-Ball, 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 9-Ball Banks 10-Ball, Full Rack Banks, Full Rack Rotation, One Pocket, Snooker, 3 Cushion Billiards and Straight Rail Billiards (Baulkline).

Tournament Experience: Toured with The National Wheelchair Poolplayers
Association since 1995, playing at the local, national, international and world level's.
Played on the International Team in 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 as well as the U.S.A.
World Team for 02, 03, 07 and 08. Played in 507 tournaments, 280 of which are wheelchair events. Played the Mike Janis Men's Pro Viking Tour including 3 National Championships and the Viking Amateur Tour. Played the Derby City Classic, 00, 01, 02,
03, 04, in all 3 events (9-Ball, 9-Ball Banks and One Pocket) as well as 05 and 06 in 9-Ball Banks and One Pocket. Played the Seniors 8-Ball and 9-Ball events at the Allen Hopkins Billiards Expo at Valley Forge, PA 2003, 04. 05 and 06 in the Seniors Division. Achieved rankings of the top 10 in 1997,98,99,2000, 01, 5th for 2002, 03 and 06, 6th in 2004 and 4th in 2005 for The National Poolplayers Association Viking Points standings. Played in TAP, APA, BCA and Valley Leagues and tournaments. I have also played in a number of Celebrity and Fund Raising Events acrossed the country. Winning a Scotch Doubles Charity Fund Raiser with my partner 1998 in Detroit, Michigan.

Referee Experience: The 1st B.C.A. (Billiard Congress of America) Certified Referee in a wheelchair and the 1st Certified National Senior Referee for the BCA Pool League in a wheelchair. The 1st Certified National Senior Referee in a wheelchair for the A.C.S. (American CueSports Alliance). Referee Staff in 2003, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12 and 14 for the BCA Pool League North American Eight Ball Championships as well as The 9-Ball Challenge in 2011 and 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Awarded The Senior Referee of the Year for 2010-2011. The Head Referee and Tournament Director in 2004, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10 & 11 for the NWPA U.S. Open Wheelchair 8-Ball Championship, as well as being tournament Director and Head Referee for the Buckeye PVA Ohio Game's for 2012. Referee'd at The 2009 Galveston World Classic, at Galveston Island, Texas. World Pool Association's 2009 World Wheelchair 9-Ball Championship at The Derby Classic (presided over the Finals) and refereed at the 2010 BCA Pool League Midwest Regional's.

Teaching Experience: Over 50 years of teaching Billiards and Golf for Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced and Pro players, individually or in groups. Ten years of clinics for children and players with varying degrees of disabilities. First B.C.A., PBIA Master Instructor and A.C.S. Level 4 (Master) Instructor in a wheelchair. Conduct Pool Clinics at the Cleveland V.A. Hospital as well as for R.A.D.A.R. with the Mayor Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Presently Owner Operator and Head Master Instructor of The Phoenix University of Billiards an Academy of Cueing Sciences & Arts (The P.U.B.) as well as instructing with the former The Cue College Academy of Cueing Arts & Sciences and associated with The Ohio Pool School and Cue Tech of Dallas, TX. Currently a Certified Master Instructor with the PBIA (Professional Billiards Instructors Association) and a Level 4 (Master) Instructor with the A.C.S. (American CueSports Alliance).

Other Activities: I have been on the Board of Directors for The National Wheelchair Poolplayers Association since 2001 and head of the Rules Committee as well as VikingPoints Chairman. Have worked to get B.C.A. Referee's at as many National Wheelchair Poolplayers Assoc. events. Was elected to the Board of Directors for the Buckeye Chapter of The Paralyzed Veterans of America and also served as the Treasurer and work mostly with the membership. I have over 2500 volunteer hours on the Spinal Chord Unit at the Louis Stokes V. A. Hospital at Wade Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Have played in the National Paralyzed Veterans Games and coach members of the National Team as well as athletes for the Ohio Paralyzed Veterans Games in Air Rifles and Billiards.

Interesting Stories: Drove to Olathe, Kansas for my first big road tournament by myself a week after I broke my leg and dislocated my hip practicing for the event. I had
surgery 3 times in 20 months. Scheduling major surgery in Atlanta, GA twice while on
road trips. During this period I missed three tournament for unrelated medical reasons.

After leaving High School I work one year for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad before serving three years in the Army. While in the Army stationed at Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland with B Troop 1st Squadron 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment I took part in Riot Control Duty in Washington D.C. after Rev. M. L. King's assassination in April 1968. I also was stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas and was with A Company 1st of the 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division when we served as the Honor Guard Unit at General of The Army Dwight D. Eisenhowers Funeral on November 3, 1979.

After leaving the service I returned to the railroad for six months before I started at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland November 30,1970. I started working in the Stockroom for my first two years before transferring onto the Guard Force as a Special Policeman. I graduated second in my class from a120 hour police certification class. While at the Fed. I was a elected a Trustee. I was elected Vice President as well as the Sports Committee Chairman. I setup and ran the Bank Golf League and setup 5 Annual Columbus Day Golf Outings. I also ran The A.I.B. (American Institute of Banking) Golf League for 5 years after assisting for two years. I was also Certified as a C.P.R. Instructor by the American Red Cross. I am a Certified S.C.U.B.A. Diver and was an Assistant Instructor for 2 seasons. I also a member of the Central YMCA SCUBA Driving Club one of the oldest diving clubs in the country. I serverd as Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President while I was active with the club. I was on the Pistol Team and was a Pistol Champion for the Federal Reserve Bank for 7 years winning numerous awards. At one point I had over 60 trophies and awards for golf, baseball, softball, pistol shooting and bowling. I am also a Bronze Medalist for Air Rifles in the National Paralyzed Veterans Games in St. Louis, Missouri. I have over 2500 volunteer hours at the Stoke Wade Park V.A. Hospital on the Spinal Chord Floor in Cleveland, Ohio.

My Photographs and Articles as well as Billiard diagrams have appeared in numberous national and regional publications. One of my Acrylic paintings took 1st Place in the 2013 Art Contest at the V.A. Hospital as well as some of my works are displayed on the walls are the V.A. Hospital as well as in the 2013 & 2014 Calendars. I took 1st Place in Water Colors and 1st Place in Acrylic Paintings with my Acrylic of The Pond taking Best in Show for 2015 and two more paintings that will appear in the 2016 Calendar.

Coached Little League Baseball as well as tutored High School and above players in fielding, pitching and hitting. Instructed Golf Professionally for beginners, youth, as well as advanced, High School and College level players. Played to a scratch (no) handicap and became a Professional
Custom Golf Club Maker.

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