Nature 28

Robert Lewis Zepp, Jr.

September 26, 1946 ~ January 20, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Robert Zepp, Jr. Obituary

Robert “Bob” Lewis Zepp Jr., of Edgewater, Maryland, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 20th, 2024. Bob was born on September 26, 1946, in Baltimore, Maryland, as the oldest child of Doris Louise Zepp and Robert Lewis Zepp, Sr. The family resided in Finksburg, Maryland in the family home located on his granddaddy Barnes’ farm in the rolling hills of western Maryland, where Bob first developed his love of the outdoors. While in Maryland, the family grew with the birth of Bob’s sisters, Ann in 1950, followed by Susan in 1953.  In 1956, the family moved to Wyoming, Delaware where Bob was never happier when trapsing through the fields and woods with one of his dogs to rouse up a rabbit or squirrel. He was a member of the local Boy Scouts Troop for many years. The Zepp family grew with the birth of Bob’s younger brother, Jimmy in 1960. 

Bob graduated from Caesar Rodney High School in 1964 where he participated on the wrestling team and became self-taught in taxidermy. During his senior year, he was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War era but was deferred until after college. Bob received a scholarship to attend West Virginia University where he graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s in forestry. After graduating he attended Boot Camp at Fort Liberty (Bragg), North Carolina and was then stationed in Oahu, Hawaii from 1968-1971 where he trained in operating cryptographic communications equipment in the Signal Core. After his service, he used his GI Bill to further his education at Virginia Tech receiving a master’s degree in wildlife management in 1975. His master thesis was on the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on cotton tail rabbit reproduction. 

After graduate school he worked for an environmental consulting firm in Chicago, IL where he conducted fishery surveys to determine if nuclear powerplants were influencing aquatic environments. Bob began working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Services in 1976, which was called Ecological Services Annapolis Field Office at that time. Bob’s career in the ES program focused on permits, licenses, and environmental reviews under the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He participated in the start of the joint permit processing concept in Maryland, where all federal and state agencies involved in project reviews would meet to develop consistent recommendations on permit issuances. Highlights of his career were working on the Bay Agreement for the funding of the Chesapeake Bay program, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project for the Potomac Crossing, and the U.S. 1 Highway Project to save bog turtle habitats.  Bob started his career at a GS-7 level and ended at the GS-13 as Deputy Field Office Supervisor.  During his career, Bob was recognized with several awards for his work to preserve the natural habitat.  After 38 years of service, Bob retired in 2013. In reflection, Bob felt he had a wonderful career and would not have traded it for the world.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents Robert and Doris Barnes Zepp, sister Virginia Ann Jester, and brother James Russell Zepp. Bob is survived by his sister, Susan Zepp Stephens, brother-in-law Clay Jester, nephews Aaron Jester (Tiffany) and Nicholaus Stephens, nieces Tracy Jester and Amanda Stephens (Eric), and great nieces and nephews Cole Falcon, Ava Falcon, and Harper Stephens. 

Bob’s legacy and love of the outdoors will live on through his charitable donation in death to The Nature Conservancy.  Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203.

Please join us in celebrating his life on Saturday February 10th, 2024, at 1:30 pm at Mt Zion United Methodist Church, 122 Bayard Road Lothian Maryland followed by a reception at The Dockside Restaurant and Sports Bar, 421 Deale Rd., Tracy’s Landing. MD  20779.  

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Memorial Service
February 10, 2024

1:30 PM
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
122 Bayard Road
Lothian, MD 20711


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