John Jepson was a kind and gentle man with the unique ability to make people feel at home. His wife Linda was his rock, and John always put her needs before his own.
He was an iconic figure within amateur baseball’s community. His passing was a devastating loss for all of Ontario.
Early Life and Education
Jepson as a boy had two desires: a gun and books. He longed to read the California pioneer stories his father often told him, and envied the neighbor boy who owned Youth’s Companion.
He vowed to create his own library, complete with his personal collection of plants and literature.
He then made a promise to himself that he would keep a journal, recording everything worth recording. Over the course of 10 years, this journal evolved into the compact black morocco “Jepson Field Book,” an invaluable document detailing one of America’s most celebrated scientists’ scientific career.
Jepson was in his element during the summer of 1909, hiking Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy Valley with the Sierra Club. He took photographs, collected plants and chatted with John Muir who joined them on this adventure.
Jepson continued his botanical research during his years at the University of California, building up an extensive herbarium. Additionally, he was an active member of the Sierra Club and participated in many scientific expeditions, including those involving astrophotography.
He kept a diary throughout his life, which he would continue to update with plant collections and descriptions, field trip experiences, anecdotes about fellow scientists, teaching/research ideas, photography data, addresses, literature citations and much more.
He had a deep-seated passion for the mountains and natural world, so when the University’s botany department moved in 1930, he took advantage of their sabbatical leave that ran from January 5 until June 19. This allowed him to be as active in his field as health permitted – taking trips to Kettleman Plains in April, Barstow/Mohave Desert in May, as well as California’s northern Sierras during June.
Achievements and Honors
Jepson has been a part of the Penn State staff since 1983 and served as acting head coach for one season after Karl Schier retired. Under his guidance, the Nittany Lions earned fifth place finishes at both the Big Ten Championships and NCAA East Regional.
In 2011, he earned the CGA Honor Coach Award, given to those members with 25 or more years of coaching experience.
Coach Doughty has achieved remarkable success during his 17 years as a teacher, leading student-athletes to earn All-America recognition 128 times and 14 men’s gymnasts to win individual national titles under his guidance.
He has spearheaded Penn State to victories at both the USA World Championships and U.S. Senior Nationals, as well as being instrumental in renovating White Building into one of America’s premier collegiate training facilities.
Jepson had a wide circle of friendships, but his innermost circle consisted of his former students and colleagues from campus and scientific conferences.
He had a loyal friendship and would not hesitate to address students or colleagues by their first name, even if they had little to do with his academic department. When away, he preferred keeping the department doors closed but would invite his friends over for dinner or even trips to the botanical garden if he knew they were coming.
He had an impressive list of former students, many who ventured into the field on their own or as part of one of his courses. Always receiving a warm reception from them, he continued to inspire future generations with his knowledge.
John Jepson is an executive at Deere & Company and has extensive experience in accounting and financial analysis roles across North American sales & marketing as well as global operations.
He previously held positions as Manager of Investor Communications and Director, Investor Relations for the company, prior to being promoted to Deputy Financial Officer earlier this year.
John has extensive fundraising experience through his work at Deere and Netzel Grigsby Associates, a nonprofit fundraising firm. He has spearheaded multiple capital campaigns and serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations.