Leighton Hepker, 65, of Maquoketa, Iowa, died on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, at his home in Maquoketa, Iowa.
Leighton was born on Jan. 4, 1954, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Oliver and Dawn (Mills) Hepker. He was raised in Linn County and graduated from Springville High School in 1972 and Kirkwood Community College in 1974. He then earned a degree from the Columbia School of Broadcasting in Los Angeles in 1975. He began his long career at KMAQ Radio in Maquoketa in June of 1975 and became well-known in his early years for the many play-by-play sporting events he broadcast on KMAQ. It was also in Maquoketa that he met his future wife, Cindy Kudart. They were married on June 23, 1979, in Iowa City, Iowa, and to this union two children were born, Justin and Adam. In 1995, he received a news media award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association. He also was an active high school basketball official for 25 years. He was inducted into the Maquoketa High School Hall of Fame in the fall of 2017 as a "Friend of the Maquoketa Schools."
Leighton was involved in the Maquoketa community serving as past president of the Maquoketa Chamber of Commerce, mayor of Maquoketa for five years, board member of the Community Foundation of Jackson County and the Jackson County Regional Health Center Board of Trustees. He was a charter member of the Maquoketa Kiwanis Club, joining the organization when it was formed in 1989. He also was a member of First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa, serving on various committees.
He had many passions in life. Among them were the St. Louis Cardinals and the Maquoketa Cardinals.
He has deeded his body to the Anatomy and Cell Biology Department at the University of Iowa for medical research and education.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa. Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in The Bistro at Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Cindy Hepker of Maquoketa; two sons, Dr. Justin Hepker and his wife, Dr. Lauren Coyne, of Iowa City and Adam Hepker and his wife, Amy, of Surprise, Ariz.; two granddaughters; one grandson; a sister, Melody (Bob) Allen, in Texas; a half-sister, Sherryl (Doug) Hahl, in Oklahoma; and one niece.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Dawn Hepker.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be given to First Lutheran Church, Hospice of Jackson County or the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
Online condolences may be left at www.carsonandson.com.