Wilbert Charles Lepkowski


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Reston, VA - Wil Lepkowski, formerly of Salem, Mass., died at Reston Hospital Center in Reston, Va. Tuesday, July 16, 2019. Raised in Salem, he was the son of the late Charles J. and Alice (Bartnicki) Lepkowski.
Wil attended St. John the Baptist grade school in Salem and St. John's Prep in Danvers. He earned a BS in chemistry at UMass Amherst, MS in biochemistry at Ohio State, and was a Fellow in the Advanced Science Writing Program at Columbia University.
Wil became a highly regarded writer who covered science and technology policy. He worked for Business Week, and for much of his career was Senior Correspondent at Chemical & Engineering News at the American Chemical Society based in Washington, DC. He covered the Bhopal disaster, chemical safety issues, chemical warfare, international science and technology policy issues involving the European Community and many other countries, and the full spectrum of domestic S&T issues, including space, energy, environment, agriculture, biomedical research, technological innovation and competitiveness, National Science Foundation, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Congress. In 2000 he initiated and co-chaired the first Gordon Research Conference on science and technology policy. In 2005 he was elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was also included in Who's Who in America; his journalistic motto was "Tell the truth."
Wil had an inquiring, probing and insightful mind. He was an explorer who read books on a breadth of subjects and took many family trips in the US and Canada. He valued good conversation and liked to engage with others in the interplay of ideas. His faith in God was vital to him. He deeply loved his family and friends and found great joy in being with them.
Mourning his passing are his wife Helene K. Hollander Lepkowski and children: David E. Lepkowski of Reston, Rebecca A. Doran and husband Kevin Doran, Thomas M. C. Lepkowski and wife Susie Leong, all of Silver Spring, Md., Katherine A. Keel and husband Chad Keel of Reston; sisters Loretta Rainville of Salem and Arline Mullen of West Newbury, Mass.; grandchildren Ella, Quinn, and Marin Lepkowski; and Jane and Todd Harding. Wil was predeceased by his brother Edward J. Lepkowski in 2001.
He was buried in Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Herndon, Va.
Contributions in Wil's memory can be made to: Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest (www.appalachia-spi.org) and World Vision (www.worldvision.org).
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Published on September 12, 2019
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