Gerhardt I. Hepner, 80, a master electrician and former owner of Duke's Car Wash in Alexandria, died of renal failure Jan. 15 at
his home in Rockville.
Mr. Hepner was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and moved to Washington as a youth. He worked a variety of jobs starting at age 10,
from carrying groceries to selling streetcar passes. He graduated from the old Central High School at 16 and found work at the
Drafted into the Army during World War II, he served in the United States. Because he spoke German fluently, he was assigned
to several prisoner of war camps. After his discharge, he took courses at George Washington University while also working for
National Shirt Shops and Woodrow's Menswear on H Street NE.
Mr. Hepner graduated from Ben Franklin University in 1963 and worked as an office manager for Pinkson Electric Co. in
Rockville for many years. After his shift ended, he would go out to job sites to do electrical work until he earned his master
He owned and operated Duke's Car Wash in Alexandria for a number of years until 1998, when the city condemned the land to
build a library on the site.
Mr. Hepner was a longtime Washington Redskins fan, starting when he sold programs at the old Griffith Stadium. He enjoyed
playing cards with the Progress Club, a nonprofit charitable group in Rockville, and traveling to Atlantic City for gambling.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Rita Hepner of Rockville; three children, Jay Hepner of Gaithersburg, Shoshana
Brounstein of Rockville and Allen Hepner of Boyds; two sisters, Edith Nussbaum of Rockville and Marian Colbert of Orlando; and