LEPPER, Alan William George
619650 & 432823, LAC, Royal New Zealand Air Force, WW2
1360 Legion of Frontiersmen, New Zealand
War Service Medal 1939-45 New Zealand War Service Medal Legion Meritorious Service Medal  Long Service & Efficiency Medal  Second award bar to the Long Service & Efficiency Medal  Legion Service Medal  90th Anniversary Medal  New Zealand Command Centennial Medal 
Frontiersman of the Year 
Born 20 November 1923 Stratford, New Zealand
Died 11 January 2020 New Plymouth, New Zealand
Cremated 15 January 2020 New Plymouth, New Zealand
LEPPER, Alan William George:
No. 432823, RNZAF, LAC, WWII. Legion of Frontiersmen - Gold Pioneer. Passed away peacefully at Molly Ryan Lifecare on Saturday 11 January 2020, aged 96 years. Loved husband of the late Connie. Loved and respected father of Paul and Marika, Mark and Angele. Loved grandad of Lachlan, Carlin and Torran; David, Phillip and partners. Loved father-in-law of Merran. Loved brother of Ellie (dec), Bell (dec), Iris Paul, Thelma Evetts, and the late Nita. Thank you to all the staff of Molly Ryan for the dedication, love and care shown to Alan during his 7 years as a resident. A service for Alan will be held at Vospers Chapel, 257 Devon Street East, New Plymouth, on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, at 1.30pm, followed by a private committal.
A long-serving New Plymouth Legion of Frontiersman was among the last three living life members of the community service group to be recognised for
their contribution to its work.
Alan William George Lepper, who died on January 11, aged 96, was a member for more than 50 years. At the time he was one of the last four members of the troop. Originally formed in 1905 as a paramilitary group, the latter-day Legion of Frontiersmen evolved into volunteering to assist the community with traffic
control, parking and security at various events. They also supported various charities.
Lepper's long years of service with the Legion were recognised by a number of awards. In 1973 he was awarded Long Service and Efficiency Medal, and in 1984, as Troop Sergeant Secretary, he received the Silver Fern. In 1989 he was awarded the Pioneer Axe, followed by the 90th Jubilee Medal in 1997, the Legion Star of Merit in 2005 and the Frontiersman of the Year award in 2007. The following year he was awarded the Gold Pioneer medal, of which only one is
awarded annually and only five can be held at any one time. Prior to this death, Lepper was one of only three living recipients of the
He left the 30-pupil Tuna School at 11, the equivalent of today's Year 6, after achieving the best school results of the year. Lepper was known for walking barefoot to lessons after hiding his footwear half a mile from the school gates because he was embarrassed of the boots he wore, his sisters Thelma and Iris believed. At Stratford High School, he biked 7km a day to lessons and back before he left aged 14, after a year and two terms, to join his sister Bell to manage his parents' newly bought dairy farm on Smart Rd. The lack of a full two years secondary schooling threatened to thwart his ambition to join the Air Force as it was the minimum standard to be able to enlist, but he was accepted after he lied to the enlisting officer he had completed the necessary education. After flight training in Christchurch, Rotorua, Blenheim and Dunedin he was posted at age 21 to the Pacific Islands before World War II ended nine months later. In civilian life, Lepper became a tram and, later, bus driver in New Plymouth, a fortuitous experience where he met his future wife, Connie, whose father, Jim, was a bus conductor. The couple wed on Boxing Day 1950 and lived their married life at 21 Paynters Ave, with sons Paul and Mark. After losing his left leg in the 1970s Lepper worked until his retirement at 60 from Ambrose Ward Engineering. Outside of work, he played club rugby for Star, and enjoyed bowls at New Plymouth RSA Club, where he was president from 1992-1994. He also enjoyed watching cricket with his grandchildren at Pukekura Park, reading western novels and listening to country music and was remembered by his family and friends as hard working, and frugal, with a good sense of humour. Lepper's funeral was held on Wednesday, January 15.
[Printed in the Taranaki Daily News]