Gene W. Kopp, 78, Dutzow, lost his long battle with cancer July 16, 2012.|
Mr. Kopp was born April 17, 1934, in Muscatine, Iowa, the son of Daniel Walter Kopp and wife Elsie, nee Pike.
A talented musician, he played trumpet in the Muscatine High School band and also in a country western band whose recordings he kept and treasured for the rest of his life.
Mr. Kopp earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa and began his career as the United States entered the space race.
During his early career, he worked for Collins Radio Company designing radio equipment that went to the moon on the Apollo 8 mission, the first manned mission to the moon, in 1969.
Mr. Kopp retired from Lucent Technologies in 1989. He then worked as an adjunct instructor at East Central College, Union, teaching electronics and algebra courses. He genuinely enjoyed the students and found college teaching truly rewarding.
A few weeks before he retired in 1989, he married Joy, his wife for the next 23 years.
Together the Kopps designed and built their dream home in Dutzow, where they enjoyed the country atmosphere, the wildlife and especially their neighbors.
They also traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad, including to Europe, Australia, Peru and China, Mr. Kopp's favorite. They especially loved Mexico, where they visited many times.
During his last years, the Kopps traveled less but still enjoyed life together. They loved being with family, friends and neighbors and were blessed with the birth of their granddaughter, Madison.
Mr. Kopp enjoyed playing bridge and his analytical mind made him a formidable player.
He is survived by his wife, Joy Kopp, Dutzow; three sons, Greg Kopp and wife Kim, Highland, Ill., Kevin Kopp and wife Sandra, Wildwood, and Kendall Kopp, St. Louis; two stepsons, James Wood, Fort Worth, Texas, and Mark Wood, San Francisco, Calif.; one stepdaughter, Stacey Wood, Fort Worth, Texas; one grandson, Adam Kopp, Highland, Ill.; two granddaughters, Alexandra Kopp, Highland, Ill., and Madison Kopp, Wildwood; other relatives and many friends.
Mr. Kopp cherished memories of his sons' childhood years, including annual trips to the Indy, Boy Scout activities and boating and water skiing on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The family thanks the special people who filled Mr. Kopp's last five years with compassion. The members of the Presbyterian Church of Washington provided much-needed love and support through his illness.
The physicians and nurses provided the best possible care and the staff at Grandview nursing facility and Heartland Hospice worked with compassion and devotion to make his last weeks as comfortable as possible.
A memorial service for Mr. Kopp will be held at the Presbyterian Church Saturday, Aug. 25, at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Presbyterian Church of Washington or the East Central College Foundation are preferred.
Published in The Missourian on Aug. 8, 2012