One of the Coast Guard Foundation's most solemn missions is to provide comfort to family and Coast Guard members who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Sadly, in January 2017 the Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund was activated following the death of LTJG Devin Hepner.
LTJG Hepner was from Logan, Utah and based in Astoria, Oregon serving at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River’s Marine Safety Unit Portland. He was attending the Investigating Officer Course at Yorktown Coast Guard Training Center in Virginia when he was found unresponsive in his barracks room and transported by local emergency medical services to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he later died.
To support both members at the Sector and family of LTJG Hepner, the Foundation funded a memorial service at Air Station Astoria so all who knew LTJG Hepner may grieve, and celebrate the life of their colleague.
Erin Hepner with her daughters at the service on January 31, 2017; and, LTJG Ross Phillips, a close friend of LTJG Hepner. (Photos: Edward Stratton | The Daily Astorian)
The loss of Devin comes as a great shock to us. He was a seasoned Coast Guard officer who leaves behind a legacy of service protecting lives on our waterways. He will be missed as we keep his family in our prayers.
LTJG Hepner joined the Coast Guard in 2013 at the age of 30, starting as a marine inspector at Sector Honolulu before moving to Sector Columbia River. He is survived by his wife, Erin, and four daughters Samantha, Aurora, Audrey and Juniper.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of LTJG Hepner passing,” said Coast Guard Foundation President Susan P. Ludwig. “On behalf of the board of directors and staff of the Coast Guard Foundation, we send our thoughts and prayers to LTJG Hepner’s family, and crewmates at Sector Honolulu and Sector Columbia River.”