Bernard Kopp, 71On Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, surrounded by his loving wife and children, Bernie drifted on an angel's wing for the heavens.
Bernard Joseph Kopp was born on a snowy Minnesota day in Plummer, Minn., on March 19, 1941, of Elmer Joseph and Hermina Orla "Peggy" Kopp - nine months prior to the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. Growing up in a small town, he and his siblings found ways to entertain themselves, from pranks to his love of basketball. A shy "Ben" enjoyed growing up in this town where his father was on the city council and mayor for over 16 years. His parents owned a grocery store, and though life had its difficulties, his love of nature, his friendships forged, and his many passions were born of this era and were something he carried with him throughout his entire life. In 1955, the family moved to Silver Bay, Minn., a fast-growing iron ore town on the shores of Lake Superior. He left behind memories to create new ones, but just as a chilling December winter's wind began to blow across Lake Superior, Bernie's parents decided they wanted to be closer to Peggy's half-brother and half-sister. They moved on a cold day to Fond du Lac, Wis. With a population of over 35,000, it was a city like nothing Bernie had ever lived in before.
Life for Bernie would forever change as he grew into a young man. In 1957, Bernie worked on a farm to earn money to purchase a car, but after two weeks, he was involved in a serious tractor accident that nearly claimed his life. It put him in the hospital for many months and for the duration of his life caused him pain and continual health issues. Bernie's fierce strength, family, and friends all contributed to his healing.
As adulthood approached, Bernie moved to Minneapolis where he married his Fond du Lac neighbor, Patricia Farley. Together they raised two boys and three girls, who watched as their father passed on to them his love of nature, work ethics, strength, and perseverance. Even though life was not always easy and, in 1979, Bernie and his wife divorced, he had shown nothing but pure determination throughout those years to provide the very best he could for his family.
In 1995, Bernie married his loving and courageous counterpart in life, Shirley Fay Cremeans. Fay brought out the very best in him throughout the years. She gave him the confidence to begin a business with her and his son Steven. Bernie and Fay worked, laughed, and traveled together - two very strong individuals with hearts of gold. When Bernie was diagnosed with cancer, they lived for each moment which brought them even closer together.
Then, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, surrounded by his loving wife and children, Bernie drifted on an angel's wing for the heavens. For all those that knew and loved him, he leaves behind memories of a strong, faith-filled man with unfailing determination who saw life as a gift, not a given. Quoting some words from Bernie himself, “May God bless you, your children, and generations to come with this same love. Treasure each day with our Lord as it was your last day here on earth." He didn't want to leave…and he lives on in all we see, all we feel, all we shall ever know. Thank you...husband...father...grandfather...great-grandfather...brother…friend...for giving us these eyes.
Preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Hermina Orla "Peggy" (Halvorson) Kopp; two sisters, Leona Sorenson and Susan Korin; granddaughter Abbey Cremeans; and two great-grandchildren, Bentley Bassamore and Hunter Harstad.
Survived by his beloved wife, Shirley "Fay" (Hughes) Kopp; two brothers, Jim (Beverly) Kopp of Edina, Minn., and David (Judy) Kopp of Casa Grande, Ariz.; children, Kathryn (Allan) Gage, Laura (Steve) Hanson, John (Erich) Kopp, Steven (Megan) Kopp, Kiersten Kopp, John (Kelli) Cremeans, Scott (Kathy) Cremeans, and Sandra Cremeans; grandchildren: Michael and Joseph Bassamore, Christopher O'Brien; Charlotte Wilson, John and Benjamin Gillis; Myah and Carter Kopp; Zachary and Madison Hullander; Aidan Cremeans; Christopher, Ashlee, and Samantha Hanson; Ashley, John, and Alec Cremeans; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral service 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at St Luke's Lutheran Church in New Richmond, Wis. Visitation 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Cullen Crea Funeral Home in New Richmond, and also 1 hour prior to the service at the church.
Comments posted on this page do not reflect opinions of Forum Communications Company. Forum Communications Company does not endorse and is not responsible for any statement, opinion, advice given or made. All replies are subject to approval and must follow Forum Communications Company guidelines concerning statements of libel, personal attacks or defamation of character. Replies in the "Talk About It" section that criticize a person by name may not be posted, unless that person is openly involved in a public issue. Comments written in all capital letters or bold print will not be considered for inclusion in the forum.