Funeral services were held Monday for Edward L. Rzepecki, 79, a retired 3M executive and for 13 years a member of Department of Manufacturing Systems and Engineering faculty at St. Thomas.
“Ed was a serious guy who had a wonderful sense of humor. He was really liked by his students,” commented Dr. Ron Bennett, department chair. “He had a distinguished career in industry, but as one of the pastors mentioned in a eulogy at Ed’s funeral, his real love was teaching.”
Rzepecki, known nationally for his work in environmental issues and packaging, worked 36 years for 3M and was technical director of its Packaging Systems Division from 1973 to 1982. He taught courses in packaging systems and environmentally sound packaging at St. Thomas since 1987.
He held the James A. Thwaits-3M Chair in Technology at St. Thomas from 1992 until poor health forced him to retire from teaching in May. He also had been seriously ill in 1993 but after a three-month hospital stay he recovered and returned to the classroom.
He was the author of two texts: Packaging and Environmental Issues and Responsible Packaging. Earlier in his career, Rzepecki taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
He is survived by his wife, Dolores, and three sons, Michael, Jeffrey and Steven. Services were held at the Richfield Lutheran Church. Memorials may be directed to the Kidney Foundation or to Richfield Lutheran Church.