LOUIS F. "LOU" EPPICH Funeral Mass for lifelong Mancos resident and cattle rancher Louis F. "Lou" Eppich will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 28 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez. Inurnment will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Manco. Reverend Joseph L. Gallegos, C.R. will officiate. A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 27 at St. Rita Catholic Church in Mancos. Lou was born on November 15, 1926 in Mancos to George Eppich and Maria Koenig. George and Maria were originally from Austria and were married in Toledo, Ohio in 1916. The couple settled in the Mancos Valley in 1923. Lou passed away at his home on October 22, 2008 at the age of 81 in the presence of his family. Lou graduated from Mancos High School in May 1944. He joined the U.S. Navy in November of 1944 and served in the Asiatic/Pacific conflict as a Signalman 3rd Class until he was honorably discharged on July 1, 1946. Lou returned to Mancos and worked at the home ranch, as well as for Frank and Florence Sponsel of Thompson Park. In 1953, he married Evelyn Sponsel at which time they purchased the Eppich ranch where he and Evelyn have lived for the past 55 years. The couple enjoyed many years of get-togethers of the Eppich and Sponsel extended families. Lou was president of the Root and Ratliff Ditch Company from 1950 to 2000. He served on St. Rita's Parish Council, was president of the Mancos Cattlemen's Association, was a member of the SW Cattlemen's Association and the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, and Lou was also a lifelong member of the Mancos V.F.W. One of his greatest joys was helping family and neighbors in any way he could. Lou spent a great part of his life on a horse and he loved moving cattle with his friends. Lou liked to hunt and spent many enjoyable days in the mountains with his brother, George. Lou was loved and respected by his close friends and family. He will be greatly missed. Surviving Lou are his wife of 55 years, Evelyn Eppich of Mancos; his children, Susan Diana Eppich of Mancos, and Wayne Louis Eppich also of Mancos; his siblings, Helen Clara Eining of Denver, Colo., Dorothy Agnes Susman of Wheat Ridge, Colo., William Francis "Bill" Eppich and wife, Betty of Mesa, Ariz., and Lillian Agnes Hammond and husband, Hugh of Ft. Collins, Colo.; numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews and cousins living throughout the United States and Austria. Lou was preceded in death by his parents; and his siblings, Mary Rita Koenig, Emma Koenig Ryan, Maria Anna Eppich, George Henry Eppich, and Gulielmus Aloysius "William" Eppich. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church-Rico, Building Repairs, P.O. Box 671, Mancos, CO 81328.