Jamie Zepp of Rapid City, South Dakota, died on March 21, 2020, at the age of 45. Anchor Alicia Garcia wanted to find ways to remember Zepp, who she had worked with for numerous years at KOTA and KEVN News.
At the time of his untimely death, Zepp was working on a book on his most recent experience, hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, a distance of 2190.9 miles. Garcia describes Zepp as “one of the most gracious people,” and she adored working with him for all those years.
Garcia says, “He was always a tremendous part of our community, he always did charity work, was always out there in the community, he was out there and one of the most positive people I’ve ever met in my life and was always up for something.”
Garcia chose to honor Zepp’s memory and carry on his dream by publishing his book “Modern Odyssey” posthumously. For the first time this year, Garcia and friends have organized a motorcycle ride to help Zepp’s Memorial Scholarship. On Sunday, August 20, bikers are welcome to participate in a fundraising ride that will begin at Central High School and end at Devils Tower.
Garcia says, “All proceeds will go towards this scholarship that has been set up in his name. The college scholarship will benefit a Rapid City Central High School graduate. This is a one-time $4,000 scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior at Central High School.” Bikers and participants are asked to arrive at Central at 10 a.m. and the ride will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
On Zepp’s website, it says, “He made life better. Each of the days he spent here on earth was devoted to tending to his relationships and to the internal growth of the spirit. He woke up with the thought that today he was going to give his best to the world. And he did. He laughed, he inspired, and he encouraged those around him. He challenged himself by trying things he did not think he could do.”
Jamie graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1992 lettering in football and wrestling. In 1996, he graduated from the University of South Dakota (Vermillion) with a Mass Communication Degree. During that time, he joined the South Dakota Air National Guard serving 4 years.
Jamie subsequently went on to work as a television news/sports director for KOTA Territory News and, eventually, KEVN TV in Rapid City. He worked on television for nearly 20 years and was awarded an Emmy. He spent six months trekking the entire Appalachian Trail, completing 2190.9 miles, in search of a new adventure. Jamie was working on a book about his trail experience, expecting to publish it and launch a writing career. His most recent text message stated that he had completed his last rewrite. More than everything, Jamie hoped that his book would encourage people to discover their own inner truths. Unfortunately, Jamie died shortly after sending that SMS.