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Memorial Service Planned for Former State Assemblyman and Cerritos College Trustee Bob Epple

A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 25 in Artesia for the former State Assemblyman and Cerritos College Board of trustee member who died of leukemia at the age of 62.

A memorial service in honor of Cerritos College Trustee Bob Epple who recently passed way after a long battle with leukemia will be held on Monday, April 25 at 4 p.m. at the New Life Community Church in Artesia.

Epple, a former California State Assemblyman, died on April 13 at the age of 62 and is survived by his wife Colleen and daughter Nicole. Among his many achievements, Epple’s had been a Board of Trustee member at Cerritos College since 1981, and served on the State Assembly from 1988 to 1994. He was also an author on legislation forcing motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

“Mr. Epple was a true Falcon," said President of Cerritos College Dr. Linda Lacy. "His intelligence, ability to analyze situations and to lead with impartiality made him a very strong board member.  He will be missed, but his legacy will live on in the history of Cerritos College."

Epple was a longtime area resident who attended Excelsior High in Norwalk and graduated from Cerritos College in January 1974. After college, he served four years in the Army, and later became a tax attorney.

It was while attending Cerritos College that Epple met his first wife Cheryl. They pair was very involved in student government, which led to many civic commitments for them both. In July of 2004, Cheryl was serving on the Board of Trustees at Cerritos College when she suffered a fatal heart attack. Epple stepped in and finished the remainder of her term on the board, and was re-elected in 2005, and again in 2009.

In 1988 Epple ran a successful campaign and was elected to the California State Assembly in the 63rd district, representing Cerritos, Artesia, Downey, East Lakewood, Hawaiian Gardens, Santa Fe Springs, and Norwalk. He left the State Assembly in 1994.

During his time as an Assemblyman Epple strived to help the communities where he grew up, focusing on legislation to reform schools on the purchases of new textbooks, raising funds for community facilities such as the Norwalk Sports Complex, and a community swimming pool in Downey in order to fight gang influences.

But not all of Epple’s efforts in the State Assembly were well received. He supported Proposition 187 -- a controversial measure dealing with illegal immigration -- and also took an unpopular stance on assault rifle legislation.  

“Bob was a friend and mentor to me for many years," said Tom Jackson, president of the Board of Trustees. "His dedicated commitment to the students and the college community was unquestionable.  He leaves a void in our hearts and on the Board of Trustees of Cerritos College.  I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

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