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Turkey 1 Bios

James (Jim) Lepkowski
2011

 

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Memorial

On December 16 I drove up to north-central Massachusetts, to Gardner, Jim Lepkowski's home town. The occasion was a memorial celebration for Jim. 

Jim was in Kastamonu in 62-63, then (according to our Directory, for I had forgotten) in Ankara at METU his second year. I did not see him for 38 years after that, until our 40th anniversary trip back to Turkey in 2002. He looked, naturally, unchanged in all that time. In the interim he found out that he liked running schools in far-off lands, and spent most of his time alternating between such assignments abroad and interim respites here in the States. Most recently he was in Spain, where he did not come home from a routine operation. 

The occasion was an occasion. There were at least 300 people there, mostly relatives and friends from that area, people who knew Jim growing up, working in the local stores, playing football and baseball in high school, leaving for college in nearby Worcester, then leaving to spend the rest of his life out in the world, but coming back time and again to renew his relationship with his place and his people. There was a strong reflection of Jim in the reminiscences of the people who were there. 

A few mentioned his time in Turkey, as the event that shaped the arc of the rest of his life. Many mentioned the value he placed, as we all have, in being abroad, seeing the world, knowing the world some better for the experience. 

Jean was there, and naturally was extremely busy just saying hello to everybody. 

                                                                                                      David Hopkins

 

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10/30/16