American Veteran 04

Dr. Joseph W. Lepak Captain US Navy/USPHS (Ret)

March 6, 1924 ~ April 26, 2020 (age 96)

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Joseph Werneth Lepak was born in Pocatello, Idaho, on March 6, 1924, the only son of Joseph and Teresa Werneth Lepak. He went to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 26, 2020. He was 96 years, 1 month, and 20 days old.

After graduation from Pocatello High School in 1942, Joseph joined the United States Navy and served in World War II from 1943-1946. After Honorable Discharge, Joseph received his Bachelor's degree from Seattle University in 1951, then his Master's Degree from the University of Utah in 1955. Joseph married his wife Gloria Tappero in September 1955. Joseph received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Utah in 1960. In 1961 he was Commissioned in the Regular Corps of the United States Public Health Service with the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was transferred to Las Vegas, Nevada to be part of the Radiological Health Team stationed on the Nevada Southern University Campus in support of Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. In 1967 he was transferred to Washington D.C. and was appointed Executive Secretary of a Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and had many assignments. In 1972 he was transferred to the US Food and Drug Administration where he served as Assistant to the Director of Microbiology until his retirement with the rank of Captain in 1984.

After retirement, Joseph and Gloria traveled across the United States visiting family, vacationing in Europe and in the Carribean several times, and spending their winters in Florida. After his wife Gloria's death in 2002, Joseph loved traveling to visit his children, grandchildren and relatives now located in various parts of the United States. In December 2013, Joseph moved his residence from Garrett Park, MD to Florida where he bought a retirement home in a Military Veterans retirement community, where he lived until his death. Joseph was a very kind and loving person, generous, and he always attended and supported the Catholic Church wherever he lived. He was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, member of the American Legion, and a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He is greatly missed by those who loved and cared for him.

Joseph was preceeded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 46 years, Gloria. Joseph was also preceeded in death by his sister, Mary Ann Freeman, and his two half sisters Gladys Martin and Irene Sage Dunlap. He is survived by his six children, Michael of Melbourne, FL, Gregory (Mary Anne) of Greenville, SC, Deborah of Silver Spring, MD, Jeffrey (Annette) of Mesa, AZ, Brian (Nawal) of Vienna, VA, and Lisa Lepak of Sarasota, FL. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Elizabeth Anne Lepak, Maryjoy (Justin) Mohr, Luke Lepak, Alexander Lepak, Deborah Lepak, Jaad Lepak, Weesam Lepak, Layla Lepak, Meagan (Robert) Sylvestre, James McAuliffe, and John Ryan McAuliffe. He is also survived by two great grandchildren Joseph Mohr and Isabel Mohr, and several nieces and nephews.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Joseph W. Lepak Captain US Navy/USPHS (Ret), please visit our floral store.


April 30, 2020

10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home
5400 Village Drive
Viera, FL 32955

Funeral Mass
April 30, 2020

11:30 AM
St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Parkway
Melbourne, FL 32940


St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Parkway, Viera FL 32940
Tel: 1-321-637-9650

Benedictine Foundation
14299 Benedictine Lane, Ridgely MD 21660
Tel: 1-410-634-2292

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