Arlin Frederick Epperson, 79, succumbed to an abdominal tumor and passed peacefully from this life, at his home surrounded by his family, on Tuesday May 16, 2017.

A Celebration of Life ceremony is planned at the New Life Community Church in Columbia, on Sunday, May 21 at 4:00 p.m. We invite those that knew Arlin to attend and share memories of his life.

He was born Oct. 30, 1937 in Independence, to Fred and Frances Epperson and was the eldest of four children.

He was married to Mary Stone, in Columbia, in 1960 and he remained in Columbia the rest of his life.

He attended Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa and received an Associate of Arts Degree. He later completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Business from the University of Missouri. Masters and doctorate degrees were completed at the University of Indiana in the area of managing public and community services.

Arlin was a man of many talents and had a variety of jobs in his life. He was active duty in the Army and in the Army Reserves from 1960-1963. He was a teacher, a computer programmer, State Park Administrator, a pastor, a college volley ball assistant coach, certified tax broker, certified financial adviser and had a real estate license.

He could water-ski barefoot and roller skate like a professional. He was the author of two books, a magazine editor with a circulation over 500,000, and wrote many programs for teaching the gospel. He was the Assistant Dean of Graduate studies and Associate Professor at Columbia College and initiated the online education programs for the college.

Beginning in 2006, Arlin traveled to Africa each year as a missionary, where he taught seminars to nearly 10,000 pastors in over 35 cities to spread the Word of God.

He has two children, Karen Epperson of Warrensburg and Duane Epperson, with wife Patricia, in Columbia. He was the proud “Papa” to five grandchildren, Madison Stuart and Travis Toy of Warrensburg, and Kaitlin, Cameron and Nicholas Epperson of Columbia. His two brothers, Merle and Melvin Epperson also survive.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Graceland University