Alvin J. Erpelding died on Tuesday, July 20, 2010.
Al was born in Winona, Minn. on May 16, 1919 to Magdelena (Miller) and Edward Erpelding.
Al graduated from Cotter High School in Winona and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he learned firefighting. He later graduated in electronics from Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis. He was recruited to work for IBM, joining the company in 1942 and retiring after 42 years of service. Al was a customer service engineer for IBM Equipment in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, later transferring to Greencastle to help start the card manufacturing plant here. He was the plant benefits administrator serving IBM employees and their families in the community.
Al served as a Battalion Radio Repairman for the 47th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division of General Patton's Third Army in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns (Battle of Alsace) in World War II. His unit liberated POW and concentration camps and he was awarded the Bronze Star for "courage, able leadership and devotion to duty."
Al was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church for over 55 years and was a founding member of Knights of Columbus at St. Paul's.
He is survived by his brother Cyril (Peg) Erpelding of St. Paul, Minn., son Louis of Kokomo and daughter Anne (David) Woods of Columbus, Ohio. Al has three grandchildren: Luke, Zachary and Rachel Woods.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 59 years Geraldine Weber Erpelding and his sister Genevieve Chuchna of Winona.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. Burial with military honors will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Bittles & Hurt Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Catholic Church Building Fund, 202 East Washington Street, Greencastle, IN 46135-1549, 653-5678.