Leslie Fredrick Koopman was born Dec. 4, 1926 on the family farm east of Le Mars, the son of Alois and Kathryn (Freking) Koopman. He graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School in Le Mars in 1944.
Following high school, he was drafted into the United States Army serving in World War II. He served in Japan and was honorably discharged in 1947.
He then drove truck for several area trucking firms until he was called up again to serve in the Korean War in 1950. He was again honorably discharged in 1952.
Les was united in marriage to Helen Kuecker June 17, 1954, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. They moved to Helen's family farm near Maurice where they farmed for several years until moving across the section to farm on their own. He continued farming until 1981, after which he resumed his trucking career driving transport for Siouxland Propane in Ireton.
They moved to Le Mars and he continued driving until retiring in 1993.
Les enjoyed hunting in his early years, dancing and playing cards. He later followed NASCAR, the Chicago Cubs and was always ready to take on any political debate.
Les never missed the opportunity to see his children and especially his grandchildren's activities, ball games or car races. The highlight of his life was sharing the stories back and forth between his children about what the others were doing. His later years were spent bragging about his great-grandchildren, sharing pictures and more stories with anyone who would listen.
Faith was always an important part of his life. He served as lector many Sundays at St. Mary's Church in Maurice and was happy to rejoin St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars when he moved back since that was where his life with Christ began. He served many years on the Gehlen Catholic School Board.
Les was a longtime member of Wasmer American Legion Post #241 of Le Mars.
In addition to his family, he will be greatly missed by his friend Jack McDougall. Their 3 phone call was very important to him.
While Scott Vreeman may have been his employer for many years, their friendship went beyond work and was a bond like no other. Family to Les was not just biological. To him his family also came to include the staff and residents at Prime Assisted Living in 2010. His time there was so full of life and activity. That family expanded again in April 2012 when he began additional care with Hospice of Siouxland. He was so appreciative for all their assistance.
Survivors include his children: Tommy (Julie) Koopman, of Orange City, Carol (Carl) Anderson, of Le Mars and Gail (Dean) Palmer, of Beresford, S.D.; seven grandchildren: Heather Galles, of Le Mars, Adri (Keith) Huls, of Urbandale, Andy Henrich, of Rochester, Minn., Nichole (Jim) Nicholas, of Rochester, Minn., Aaron (Tina) Anderson, of West Des Moines, Kyle (Laura) Anderson, of Indianola and Doug Palmer, of Beresford, SD., 12 great-grandchildren; his brother, Mark (Bernice) Koopman, of Le Mars and sisters-in-law, Darlene Koopman and Marlys Koopman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Ronald in 1996, his sisters, Esther Schnepf and Harriet Goerdt; brothers, Marcel, Elwood (Bud), Wayne and Delbert Koopman; brothers-in-law, Al Goerdt and Elmer Schnepf; and sisters-in-law, Sylvia Koopman and Phyllis Koopman.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery with military rites conducted by the Wasmer American Legion Post 241 in Le Mars. Visitation with the family present will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday with a parish rosary at 4 p.m., and a scriptural prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen-Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume from 9:30 a.m. until service time on Thursday at the church.
Pallbearers will be Aaron Anderson, Kyle Anderson, Doug Palmer, Scott Vreeman, Greg Vreeman and Doug Ten Napel.
Expression of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.