Arbetta Kashimura Hepfer
Arbetta Kashimura Hepfer
  • May 5, 1918 - April 13, 2017
  • West Columbia, South Carolina

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COLUMBIA - A memorial service for Arbetta “Betta” Kashimura Hepfer, 98, will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church with Rev. Zach Dillard officiating the service. A private graveside service was held in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Mrs. Hepfer, wife of the late Dr. Penrod Graham Hepfer, died Thursday, April 13, 2017. Betta, the daughter of the late George and Bessie Chase Kashimura, was born in Orlando, Florida on May 5, 1918.

A graduate from public schools in Wareham, Massachusetts, Betta received a B.S. degree in health and physical education from Boston University Sergeant College. After graduation, she taught health and physical education at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She later earned a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of South Carolina and taught health education in the Physical Education Department at USC.

Early during World War II, Betta volunteered for the U.S. Army graduate physical therapy program and upon completion of the one year course at Walter Reed General Hospital, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Her first duty was staff physical therapist at Ashford General Hospital, formerly the Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. There she met and married her husband, First Lieutenant Penrod Hepfer, a staff physician. Both were shortly transferred to separate units preparing for overseas following D. Day.

Betta was stationed with the 140th General Hospital in Blandford, England, which she received wounded flown in from battlefronts. She received a medical discharge and returned to the states.

Active in local church, service and political groups, Betta was a member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women and Major Circle. She held memberships in the Boston University Alumni Association; the University of South Carolina Alumni Association; Columbia Alliance and the Columbia Chapter; and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Betta served in chapter and state offices of the Robert Gibbes Chapter, National Society, Colonial Dames, 17th Chapter; the Palmetto Chapter of New England Women; National Society of Daughters of Colonial Wars; the Lilac Garden Club; and Forest Lakes Women’s Golf Association. She was a charter member of the Richland County Republican Women’s Club.

Surviving are her sons, Richard George Hepfer and wife, Katherine McCaskill of Columbia and Dr. Thomas Willard Hepfer and wife, Christine Howell of Salem; grandchildren, Holly Hepfer Reed and husband, Abraham Reed of Clemson, Dr. Ellen Hepfer Breazel and husband, Eric Breazel of Clemson, Dr. Katherine Sloan Ware and husband, Dr. Patrick Ware of Charlotte, N.C., and Richard Glenn Hepfer of Charleston; great-grandchildren, Lance Thomas Reed, Lillian Christine Reed, and Brody Daniels Breazel all of Clemson, and Stewart Elizabeth Ware of Charlotte.

In addition to her husband and parents, Betta was predeceased by her brother, William Chase.

Memorials may be made to Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, 3401 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29204; or to a charity of one’s choice.

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