Leo "Joe" Pepin

  • Born: October 11, 1944
  • Died: July 26, 2019
  • Location: Bedford, New Hampshire

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104

Tel. (603) 625-6951

Tribute & Message From The Family

Leo "Joe" Pepin was born at a young age in Berlin, NH to Alice and Leo Pepin on October 11, 1944. The second top rated musical hit that year was "Don't Fence Me In" by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters – although not a fan of the song itself, the title fits the theme of his life. Joe spent his young days with his favorite playmates; a one-legged duck, a cat, a rabbit and a dog (that's farm life for you). He graduated from St Patrick's School in 1962, having forged reasonably decent relationships with the school's nuns, especially Sister Regina.

He joined the army "for a good meal" (We loved his mom, but Memérè could not cook!) and soon got his sights set on earning a Campaign Hat. Being a good shot he could do it, but heck those Large Bore Shooter guys had to drag their butts out in the desert with all their gear to shoot; and the Small Bore guys got to stay inside in the air conditioned range. Being smart, he shot a little off on testing day and stayed in the air conditioning. We wonder if his students, later in his military career, realized just how clever their instructor was.

Ultimately, the hot desert winds ended up calling to him and he headed off to White Sands missile base for a bit of adventure, computer work, and motorcycle racing in the desert. Not having much money he only had one bike. He would ride to the race, take off the parts that weren't used for desert racing, race, and then re-assemble his bike again to ride home - clearly a labor of love.

And love he found when he returned home to NH, settling down with Lucille (Labonte) Pepin and raising three fabulous kids (*wink, wink) Craig, Keith, and Mel (aka Melinda) in that order.

Racing never left him, nor did the desire to be a great shot. He raced canoes, bicycles, funny boats and more with his kids as willing co-conspirators. He then settled on a different type of shooting, after his daughter's interest rekindled his own photography passion. He was a proud member of the New Hampshire Professional Photographer's Association; had his work shown in several shows, and returned to his teaching roots by sharing his photography prowess with students at Bedford School District's Adult Education program.

His passion for photography, and desire to still earn a Campaign Hat, led him to want to 'see something new' and become a park ranger with the National Park Service after he retired from 40-plus years of computer work for a company that changed hands and names too often to mention. For those that visited Rainbow Bridge in 2011 you should feel lucky. He was great at his job and shared the history of the area with a passion. Not to mention, being a Park Ranger earned his long awaited Campaign Hat.

When he wasn't teaching, taking photographs or hanging with his family, he was committed to raising funds for cancer research through his participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, walking each year since 2008, and the entire marathon route 8 times. The past two years he traded in his battle with Heartbreak Hill to face his own cancer - which he did with grace, humor and an "I hate cancer!" attitude.

The battle waged, the outcome now clear, Joe sets off on what he calls "his next great adventure" with a "yeah, yeah, yeah, I know."

He will be having a reunion with his good friend Shirl, his brothers-in-law, Richard and Ray, and his parents. We are sure he and Shirl have hours of photography technical discussions to get caught up on.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 52 years, Lucille; son, Craig and fiancé, Elissa Turner; son, Keith and wife, Elise; daughter, Mel and husband Tym Rourke, five amazing grandchildren who have been a shining light for him in life: Declan, Exelia, Isabelle, Salena and Benjamin; his beloved sister, Pauline Bergeron; nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins and numerous other family and friends.

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Friday, August 2, 2019 at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., Manchester.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in the name of Joe Pepin, made payable to: Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, P.O. Box 3595, Boston, MA 02241-3595. Memo line: Cure AT/RT Now, Joe Pepin, or at danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/JoePepin


Condolence & Memory Journal

I worked with Joe at the myriad of companies. He was a respected mentor to me for unix, web development and photography. He was the consummate teacher / leader. In 2005, he mentioned a vision for setting up a Photography club at work. He wanted to set up classes for the newly emerging field of digital photography. The early classes were quite fun. Joe would bring in Pepperidge Farm cookies to go along with his slides. We all had a blast. Joe set up the pattern for newbie training, the art show and the Heart Walk auction. Joe also personally built the display racks used in the various shows. It is because of his leadership that many people at Philips were bitten by the photography bug. My condolences to Joe's family. He was a great role model to many. Till our paths meet again.

Posted by Greg Maloney - Broomfield, CO - coworker   August 23, 2019

So sorry to hear of your loss. Joe was a neat guy. I always enjoyed our conversations.

Posted by Ward Gravel - Friend   August 05, 2019

Remembering our motorcycling days with fondness. We had so much fun. It's a chapter in our lives we won't soon forget. Much love and condolences to all the family Paul and Therese

Posted by Paul G and Therese J Campagna - Sun City Center, FL - Family   August 02, 2019

Thank you for your service RDM Windham NH

Posted by A friend   July 31, 2019

I'll always remember Joe for his smile, great love for his family and photography skills. Such an inspiration to the very end. Until we all meet again Joe! ~ Danielle M Vezina

Posted by Danielle Vezina - Epping, NH - Friend   July 31, 2019

Leo and spent many days together hunting. We were also the science nerds for our class. He will be missed by many.

Posted by Henry Charest - Northborough, MA   July 31, 2019


Joe you were a great friend and mentor. Always there for anyone in need willing to share your knowledge, time and love. May our Lord welcome you into heaven and give you and your family peace.

Pitt Gallup a coworker and friend, Port Saint Lucie, FL

Posted by Pitt Gallup - Port Saint Lucie, FL - Coworker   July 31, 2019

My Thoughts and Prayers to Joe's Family. He truly lived his life fully with passion for his family, photography and helping others. God Bless.

Posted by Michael Haffey - Hudson, MA - Coworker   July 31, 2019

Grateful to have known him as a colleague and while our paths didn't cross that often at work, when they did I was the better for it.

Posted by Jonathan Temple - MA - Coworker   July 31, 2019

I feel so very lucky to have had the chance to get to know Joe! He entertained me with many stories and photographs of his adventures! His ability to chat about just about anything made our many visits memorable! Many condolences to you all! And to you, Joe, thanks for my final salute as I will always remember the smile that came with it!

Posted by Johanna Messamore - NH   July 30, 2019

Heartfelt condolences to you and your family, Lucille. Sending prayers and hugs from your cousin Denise

Posted by Denise Goulet    July 30, 2019

Joe.....you were a kind, thoughtful and a gentle man. You and Lucille were always close to my heart and your story will live on with your grandchildren. You are now in peace

Posted by Sue gingras - Brentwood, NH - Friend   July 30, 2019

We are so sorry for your loss. Joe was always willing to help ,any way he could. It's with deep regret that we are unable to attend his celebration of life. Without a doubt he lived a full life.Joe will be missed. Much love to the Pepin family. Kevin and Janet Foss

Posted by Janet and Kevin Foss - Penacook, NH - Family   July 30, 2019

Joe, I am glad I had a chance to know you at work. RIP my friend.

Posted by Tony Borges - Bradford, MA - Coworker   July 30, 2019

Joe, I was blessed to know you, to work with you in high tech, and to learn so much about photography from you at the PHILIPS Photo Club you and Shirl did such a great job teaching! Witnessing your tears as you made being there for Declan your top priority and doing everything in your power to love and help your family succeed in finding good health and being truly happy with who they chose to become. I said it since the day I met you! Your wife Lucille was a lucky woman to have made a family with such a loving man. I will say prayers that your move up to Heaven leaves them filled with the love and memories you all shared forever. Joe. You were a good guy!!! My sincere condolences to the entire family and most especially to your wife Lucille who was witness to your beautiful life.

Posted by Lisa Narie Doherty - Epsom, NH - Coworker   July 29, 2019

Thanks for everything, Dad.
I love you.
Your son, Craig

Posted by Craig Pepin - Manchester, NH - Son   July 29, 2019

While looking for another Obituary I ran across "Joe". I wish I had met him. I am inspired to "follow my dreams" and just go for it!
thinking of you and your family at this time. Deanna from texas

Posted by Deanna - Pflugerville, TX   July 29, 2019

Dear Lucille, Greg and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of Leo "Joe". I can still remember all the fun at your wedding, especially when Uncle Romeo and Aunt Bea danced a Canadian Jig. I don't think Leo ever forgot that. We are keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers for strength, courage, and peace. We will see you on Friday. Love, Louise (Filteau) & Greg Estrella

Posted by Louise Estrella - Berlin, NH - Family   July 29, 2019

Family Album