Spencer "Spence" KEPNER

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Photo of Spence Kepner that accompanied his retirement article in the Juniata Sentinel. (Photo by Fonda Henry)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/20/13 - Image Year: 2013

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Spence Kepner was a son of Glen and Martha (McCachren) Kepner. He married Paulette Brouse.


By Fonda Henry (Juniata Sentinel 12-18-2013)

Spence Kepner has long been a well-known, loved, integral part of Juniata County for the last 40 years as a physician's assistant with Juniata Medical Group, Mifflintown. Kepner's career actually started out with him working toward a career in physical therapy when he spent one year attending Lock Haven University. When his father, Glen, became sick, Kepner took a year off to help his mother, Sarah, with his father.

Kepner had a few odd jobs while taking his sabbatical from schooling, such as painting, plumbing and working in grocery and clothing stores. His father passed away at 50 years of age from bone cancer. Since there was no hospice back then, you did a lot of the care yourself, Kepner said, adding that he feels his father's illness is what got him into the medical field.

He then decided to go to X-ray school at Geisinger in Danville. Kepner spent the next eight years there, and realized he enjoyed doing orthopedics, setting breaks and that sort of work, so he started working in the emergency room and the operating room while still in X-ray.

Hershey then opened a physician's assistant school, and he was a graduate in its first class in 1972. At that time, the admittance process was different than it is now. They would set applicants up with a physician to be tested over a weekend, and then, after the 40 applicants were narrowed down to about 12, they were then matched to a physician.

Coincidentally, Spence's brother Skip, went to see Dr. Lynn Guiser at that time and when the doctor asked what Spence was doing, Skip told him that he was looking to get into the physician's assistant school in Hershey. At that point Guiser stated that he was actually looking for an assistant, and so a partnership began.

?Physician's assistant was a new idea back then, and no one really knew what scope this position would take,? Kepner noted when asked what he wound say to someone looking into the medical field.

?There were no guidelines for this newly formed position, but, in today's economy, someone looking into PA as a career choice will have a better chance of securing a position before an MD would.?

Back in the early '70s when he started, his job included hospice and house calls, which took him away from his family, but, thankfully, he was blessed with a supportive wife, Paulette, and sons, Shawn, Joel and Aaron.

Even though there were sacrifices that had to be made in this type of career, where-as now it is really a 9-5 job.

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/16/10 - Image Year: 2008
TENNIS PALS: (from left): Ed Lewis, Brian Wigglesworth, Spence Kepner, Skip Kepmer at Lion's Park, Port Royal, August 8, 2008
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/29/16 - Image Year: 2010
TVHS FINEST - KEPNER TAYLOR COUSINS: (l-r) Skip Kepner, Wayne Taylor, Wib Taylor and Spence Kepner.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1949
Connie Bryner and her dog Corky with Spence Kepner at the Old Port Trading Post about 1949. (Photo submitted by Bud and Eddie Bryner)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/17/10 - Image Year: 1964
1964 PERRY-JUNIATA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS (Defeated Loysville in Finals) Front Row (L - R): Doug Kennedy, Charlie Kipp, Bill Koons, Mike Taylor; Middle Row: John "Duff" Taylor, Wib Taylor, Don Kinzer, Clint Bashore, Dick Rhine, Jay Kipp, Wayne Taylor; Back Row: Spence Kepner, Bill Kennedy, Skip Kepner, Ed Lewis, Jim Kennedy, Bill Osman
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/28/13 - Image Year: 2013
Paulette and Spencer Kepner on a medical mission to the Dominican Republic.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 4/19/21 - Image Year: 2019
2019 TVHS SNOW BIRDS AT LANTZ HOME, BRADENTON, FL: (l-r) Fred and Marsh (Gilson) Harris, Skip and Nancy (Kohler) Kepner, Spence and Paulette (Brouse) Kepner, Paul and Dixie (Isenberg) Lantz and Wayne and Lucy (Whitesel) Taylor. (All are TVHS grads except for Fred Harris, Paul Lantz and Lucy Taylor) (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)

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