Leonard Kepner “Kep” Gottshalk, 84, died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.

He was born in Pottstown, Pa., and raised in south New Jersey.

Kep was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He was assigned to the USS Gherardi proceeding to North Africa, Italy and the invasions in France, then on to the Pacific, terminating with signing of the peace treaty in Japan.

In 1948, he married Ruth Murphy, settled in South Jersey, and together they had five children. He worked for E.I. DuPont until retiring in 1984 at the age of 58. After retiring, he and Ruth moved to Maine and eventually settled in Dallas, Pa.

He is a life member of the American Legion, originally joining in 1948 in New Jersey, and then joining in Maine followed by Dallas, Pa., where he served as a commander and adjutant.

In 1986, he became a life member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars as well as Disabled American Veterans. He also was a member of the Tin Can Sailors since 1986 and, since 1990, has been involved with the Gherardi Association where he served as treasurer and trustee. Kep is also a life member of the Stockton Springs Masonic Lodge and a member of the George M. Dallas Lodge.

In the 1970s, Kep became a life member to the Scottish Rite-Valley of Southern New Jersey. In 1975, he was commander in council. He has been a member of the Eastern Star for more than 30 years, joining in New Jersey in 1976, and eventually transferring his membership to Maine. Joining in Trenton, N.J., he has also been a member of the Shrine for more than 30 years. While living in Dallas, Pa., he joined the Shepherds, providing needed transportation for children and their family members to Shriners Hospitals.

In the 1970s, he served on the Harrison Township School Board as a member of the negotiations committee and transportation committee. During the 1970s, he was also a member of the Glouscheter County Historical Society first serving as the editor and then as the president, working to make a debt-free library and also securing an endowment to run it.

He has been an active member of the Methodist Church since 1948. Kep leaves behind his wife of 62 years Ruth Murphy Gottshalk; children, Karl and wife Cathy, Marsha and husband David, Paula, Alison and husband Ron, and Sherry; along with nine grandchildren and two sisters, Mary Alice and Margaret. A memorial service will be Friday, Feb. 4, at 5 p.m. in the Richard H. Disque Funeral Home Inc., 672 Memorial Highway, Dallas, Pa., with the Rev. Dr. William D. Lewis officiating.

Friends may call from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday.

Memorial contributions to Kep’s memory may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, c/o Irem Shriners, P.O. Box 307, Dallas, PA 18612.