Joel Trent Appler


Joel Trent Appler, loving father, husband, teacher and friend to hundreds, died Oct. 6, 2021. He was 66 years old.

Born June 15, 1955 in Rochelle, to Esther and Ray Appler of Oregon, (both predeceased), Joe was an outdoor adventurer from the beginning. Growing up on an apple orchard with two sisters and a brother, Joe could be found climbing trees, scrambling up the hillside from the river, riding a bike down the long country lane, sledding, and later cutting grass on the big Simplicity mower.

Joe graduated from Oregon High School, Oregon, in 1973 where he was a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams. College included Augustana College and then the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse earning a BS in Health Education/Psychology in 1977.

After college Joe worked as a YMCA Physical Director in Indianapolis, Ind. His dream was to settle in Colorado near the beautiful Rockies, and that dream came to fruition in 1980. With his friendliness and sense of humor as an asset, Joe’s career turned to sales. He worked for JanSport, OneCoast, and Appler and Associates for 35 years covering territories of New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

Joe met and then later married, Colleen Carpecken, an elementary school teacher, in 1987. The two shared a love for competitive volleyball, not only playing, but running USA Volleyball tournaments for 15 years, including a Colorado state championship. They welcomed daughter Kirstie and then son Jordan into their family. Coaching both children in soccer for many years was a great joy for Joe.

The Colorado Rockies are full of outdoor adventures and every year you could find the Colorado Appler family hiking, biking, camping, and skiing there. They also attended two US Olympics and traveled to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

Left on earth, grateful for the laughs and memories are: wife Colleen of Centennial, Colo., daughter Kirstie of Boorowa, Australia, and son Jordan of Denver, Colo. Siblings include sister Mary (Mark) Kiepura of Arlington Heights, brother John (Diane Snooey) of Kihei, Hawaii, and sister Marcia (Ned) Birkey of Ida, Mich. Also sister and brother in law Karla and Bruce Barner of Westlake Village, Colo. Nieces and nephews include: Whitney and Madeleine Kiepura, Justin and Richard Appler, Nick (Nicole) Snooey, Leah Birkey, Ben (Michelle) Birkey, Lauren (Kevin) Reinard, Corrine (Logan) Leekam, Travis Barner, and Hillary (Nick) Holbrook.

Memorial contributions can be directed to: Rocky Mountain Conservancy Fund, Attn: “Appler” Fund, PO Box 3100, Estes Park, CO  80517

Joe’s was a life well lived!