Cover photo for John Sidney Koopmans's Obituary
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1932 John 2023

John Sidney Koopmans

December 30, 1932 — March 14, 2023

Polson

John Sidney Koopmans was born on December 30, 1932. He was the seventh of ten children born to Simon and Katie (Zeldenrust), Koopmans of Momence, Illinois.  He grew up working with his brothers and sisters on the family truck farm, raising vegetables and gladiolus for the markets in Chicago. He loved chickens and while at home, he ran a small egg business.  John graduated from St. Anne High School in 1950 and he met and courted the love of his life, Velma Ohlfest. Following military release of two older brothers, he also enlisted in the Army, during the Korean conflict.  Honorably discharged in 1953, John and Velma were soon married in April 1954.  Their daughter Susan was born the following year.  He completed technical training at DeVry Technical Institute and they moved their little family to San Diego, California where son Kenneth was born, in 1957.  John’s athletic talent and love of baseball prompted him to try out and play minor league ball in San Diego. He of course, loved the Chicago Cubs....his “Cubbies”.
 
John worked in the aerospace industry and on July, 28, 1964. He, accompanied by his family, were on site in Florida to watch the Ranger VII Rocket launch its journey to the moon, in order to take and transmit the first high resolution images of the moon with the camera that he developed.  After that, he opened and operated John Koopmans TV, in Escondido California, where he and Velma nurtured and watched their children grow to adulthood.
 
Moving to Oregon in 1980, they lived in the country, where he raised chickens, goats and vegetables.  he opened Roseburg  TV.  Six grandkids were born into the family, further enriching their lives.  He added Beefalo to his interests, and managed a ranch where he was in charge of these animals. 
 
In 1994, they moved to Polson, Mt, and lived near their son and his family. He worked with Ken, who had opened Valley TV.  On their small acreage, he raised chickens, goats and vegetables.  A few years later, they moved to Belgrade Mt where he opened Valley TV.  They lived on parcel of land where again, he raised chickens, goats and vegetables. He sold organic eggs and veggies to a local food co op, then later would take his excess produce to the Bozeman Senior  Center to share with whomever had need.  The highlife of John’s  winter would be when the seed catalogs arrived, and he would plan his spring planting.  He and Velma attended Grace Bible Church in Bozeman, where many of their precious friends still live.  He joined the Gideon’s organization, distributing Bibles in hotels and the university campus. 
 
Following severe health issues, John and Velma had to move to a much smaller setting and were invited to live in their son’s home.  In November of 2022, his wife of 68 1/2 years, left for heaven, and on March 14, 2023, John also went to meet Jesus.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Clarence and Peter, sister, Martha, and his wife, Velma.  He is survived by three brothers, Simon, Thomas and Melvin and three sisters, Katherine, Helen, and Janice.  Also, his daughter, Susan (Steven)  son, Ken (Sherry), six grandchildren, Karen, Joseph (Amy), Timothy (Keri), Daniel (Natalie), Minden (Steven) and John.  And by 11 great grandchildren, Ashley, Will, Natalie, Mia, Kamryn, Emily, Noah, Jace, Jasper, Adaline and Evelyn.
 
Memorial donations may be made to the Gideon’s organization to further the gospel of Jesus.

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