In Memory of

Eldon Anthony Kopel

February 17, 1927 - September 15, 2022
From: Spencer, IA
Eldon Anthony Kopel

Eldon Anthony Kopel

Born: February 17, 1927
Died: September 15, 2022
Age: 95

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     Eldon Anthony Bernette Kopel, 95, of Spencer, IA, died Thursday evening September 15, 2022 in the presence of his family. He was the best son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, friend and neighbor one could ever hope to have.

     Eldon was born February 17, 1927, in Haverhill, Iowa, the eldest of the eight children of Wilbert Anthony and Celestine Margaret (Neuroth) Kopel. He attended St Joseph's School in Haverhill, then transferred to and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Marshalltown, IA in 1944.

Eldon helped his father work the family farm and farmed on his own until he entered the service. He did statistical analysis at the Second US Army headquarters near Washington DC during the Korean War. After his discharge he returned home and entered the University of Iowa, graduating with a BA in Economics.

     In June 1958 he met Teresa Rohner at the Newman Center in Iowa City, and they married on December 27, 1958.  Eldon and Terri raised seven children, and his family was always his first love and priority. He taught his family his values of thrift, hard work, paying your bills, helping others and loving your neighbor.

     Not long after graduating, he took a civil service test. He was offered three positions and chose a job with the Social Security Administration in November 1960. He trained in Des Moines, IA, and his first position was in Ft. Dodge. Promotions led him to offices in Creston IA, Hutchinson KS and Hannibal MO before settling in as the manager of the branch office in Spencer IA. After a very successful career with SSA, he retired after 34 years and 2 months on January 3, 1995.

     After retiring in 1995, he opened the Eldon Kopel Insurance office, and retired from that at the age of 88. Over the years, he worked a variety of part-time jobs to supplement the family income and gain Social Security coverage, in addition to his civil service. Those jobs included owning a Dairy Sweet in Creston. He later ran a vending machine business and worked weekend evenings as a desk Clerk at the Tangney Hotel. He believed in education, and in addition to his BA he studied to become an insurance agent and studied nursing home administration.

     Eldon was always active in the community. His Catholic faith was very important to him, and he was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and Knights of Columbus, He was a member of Golden K Kiwanis and served as a Boy Scout leader. He served on the Spencer Civil Service Commission, the Clay County Veterans Affairs Commission and as a board member of the Sunshine Center in Spencer. In 1996 he ran for Clay County Supervisor. He volunteered at the Senior Center and volunteered doing tax returns for thousands of people over the years. He was a member of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

     In the little free time he had left after working and raising a family, he loved to read the paper and follow current events. He attended all his children’s and grandchildren’s games, plays and concerts. He was a lifelong Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs fan and loved to watch their games. Always a farmer in spirit, he gardened and loved a drive in the country to check on the crops.

     He is survived by his wife, Teresa Magdalena; daughters Teresa Kopel (Tom Smith), Cecilia Magalhaes (Mariano), Barbara Abney (Andrew) and Joni Cole (Jeff); sons Dan Kopel (Debbie) and David Kopel (Claudia); sisters Dorothy Atkinson, Sr Jeannette Kopel, Isabel Kasel (Dick), and Kathy Carruthers (John); brother James Kopel; grandchildren Heather DuBois (Jared Grow), Missy Roland (David), Chris Kopel (Maddie), Nikki Kopel, Anthony James (AJ) Kopel, Gabriela Magalhaes (Isaac Medina), Juliana (Mina) Magalhaes-Corteletti  (Bruno), Sofia Magalhaes, Anna Miller (Eric),  and Ethan Abney (Grace); great-grandchildren Trevor Streuli (Chelsea), Kaelob Streuli, Tanner Orwig (Mallory), Alexis Roland, Julian Miller, and Oliver Abney; and great-great-grandchildren Kash Glienke, Kacyn Streuli, and Hunter Orwig; and many nieces and nephews.

      He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbert and Celestine Kopel; sisters Luella Lundgren and Sr. Barbara Kopel; brothers-in-law Loren Lundgren and Glenn Atkinson; sister-in-law Harlene Kopel; nephews Greg and Tim Lundgren; and daughter Marie Kopel.

Memorial services will take place 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, September 20, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spencer.

*Memorial contributions may be sent to Sacred Heart church in Spencer or the Wounded Warrior Project at https://support.wounded.

Here is the livestream link for the Memorial services at the church for Eldon Kopel

Father Tim Hogan
All of Eldon's Grandchildren

Visitation will take place Monday, September 19, starting at 5:00 P.M., with family present from 5-7:00 P.M. at Warner Funeral Home in Spencer.


Friday, October 14, 2022 at 6:48 AM
“We always conversed when we saw each other throughout the years, whether at the bakery, or grocery store. Eldon gave good advice. He spoke highly of his children and always caught me up on what his family members were doing. He was proud of his grown children. Sympathy to the family. He was a good citizen of Spencer. ”
- Jan Myers
Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 7:44 AM
“Jane and I want to send our sincere condolences to all the Kopel family regarding the loss of Eldon. He lived a long and prosperous life and was always so very loving of his family, which he always placed first in his life. He'll be remembered well for his dedication to his family, as well as his lifelong commitment to the Social Security Administration. ”
- Mike Lundgren and Jane Tompkins
Friday, September 23, 2022 at 8:38 AM
“Kopel family... so sorry for your loss, deepest condolences from our family...”
- Rhonda & Steve (goobe) Essick
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 9:23 AM
“I will miss Eldon and his wisdom, along with talking with him about the Marshalltown days. God's abiding peace and comfort for Teresa and family.”
- Chaplain Kent Schmidt
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 7:03 AM
“Sending my love and prayers for the entire Kopel family. Eldon was an earnest, hard-working and kind soul. He was an example to all who knew him. You are all an example of his love and faithfulness. With love for the days ahead. He will always be with you. ”
- Ann Barnes
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 9:09 AM
“My deepest sympathies go out to all of the Kopel Family and all of his friends !
I worked with Eldon at The Hotel along with some of his family members and always thought of him and his, as family.
They are a wonderful family in this community !
RIP Eldon till we meet again. ”
- Rhonda Olson
Monday, September 19, 2022 at 6:50 PM
“Words aren't enough. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kopel family. Love you all!”
- Margo (Orris) Leisinger
Monday, September 19, 2022 at 2:30 PM
“My deepest condolences. I'm sorry I cannot be there in person, but I will never forget Eldon's kindness, dignity, and helpfulness. I remember his willingness to come spend time with us when my brother, Tim, died, and I will always remember him fondly for that and many other reasons.”
- Paul Lundgren
Monday, September 19, 2022 at 11:55 AM
“My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Uncle Eldon was a very caring and generous man.


Mary Wilkin”
- Mary Wilkin
Monday, September 19, 2022 at 11:55 AM
“Condolences to Terri and family for passing of a truly great gentleman. trs”
- TR Shively
Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 12:36 PM
“I am so sorry to hear about eldon- he always knew how to put a smile on everyone's faces and loved to share his favorite stories of his journey in life. Thoughts with you all”
- Katie Chindlund
Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 12:36 PM
“Dear Family,
Elden helped me a lot with my insurance when I lst retired..I will never for get him..
Prayers for aloof you ..❤️🙏”
- Jackie Mann
Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 12:36 PM
“Grandpa was an amazing family man. I always enjoyed our talks during the family gatherings. Definitely way smarter than myself but he never acted liked it. He always treated everyone with dignity. You will Definitely be missed.
Thank you for always letting me be myself!!!”
- Jeff Streuli
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 4:48 PM
“one day at a time sorry for your loss eldon was such a nice person god bless brad bolyard”
- Bradley A bolyard
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 4:28 PM
“I remember when Eldon and family came to church and his wife I knew from working at the YMCA .. such a nice man whom will be missed..rsp..”
- Diane Mullenberg Diane Mullenberg
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 3:12 PM
“We are so sorry to hear that Eldon has passed. He was such a wonderful big brother and human being. God has received a true Angel - God Bless your family. ”
- Ann Muehling & Dorothy Atkinson
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