Wesly E. Kopp, age 88, of Dodgeville, WI, formerly of Platteville WI, passed away at his home on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Wes was born on December 31, 1931, in Platteville, the son of Elmer and Betty (Bell) Kopp. He was united in marriage with Gail Linder at the First Methodist Church in Platteville on August 20, 1960. He was a graduate of Platteville High School. Wes grew up on the family farm, and it was there he developed his interest in understanding, building, restoring and maintaining mechanical things. He built his first vehicle, a go-kart, from a washing machine motor as a youth. Wes could look at a problem or an inefficiency and develop a tool or solution to make it work. He was a skilled wood-worker, making or restoring many items. One of his favorite pastimes was taking a drive on the back-roads of Grant County. Other interests included reading, bird watching, antiquing, drawing, gardening, and driving in a manner that increased his gas mileage. Wes served in the Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany as a member of the Drum and Bugle Corp of the Berlin Command during the Korean Conflict. He worked as a mechanic at Delbert Martens’ service station in Platteville, then was hired at Sieg Auto Parts where he worked until his retirement. After retirement, Wes enjoyed providing lawn care services and took pride and enjoyment in his own yard and those he cared for. Wes and Gail were instrumental in bringing the Rollo Jamison Museum to Platteville and Wes restored many items that are on display at the museum, including the museum’s wood floors. For 38 years, he demonstrated the peddle-powered jigsaw at the museum’s Heritage Days. Children lined up to watch as he cut a figure for them from a block of wood. He delighted in hearing from people that collected his cut-outs as children and then brought their children to get one from him.
Wes loved his family and liked nothing better than to be with them. He is survived by his daughter, Keely (Jeff) Thomas of Dodgeville and grandchildren: Kelby (Rachel) Thomas of Spring Green and Kerby (Monica Donnelly) Thomas of Verona; daughter, Korey Kopp of Middleton; son, Kenyon Kopp of Jackson, MI, and grandchildren: Jacob Fowler, Madelief Kopp both of Kalamazoo, MI and Max Kopp of Jackson; brothers and sisters-in-law: Merl and Rose Linder of Holmen and Alan and Chris Linder of Waukesha; nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. He was comforted in his last weeks by the care and presence of his children and grandcat, Juniper.
Wes was preceded in death by his wife Gail on June 19, 2008; his parents; his father and mother-in-law, Max and Lela Linder; and his sister, Sue Lavold.
A private family graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery in Platteville with Mary Ann Floerke officiating. A Celebration of Wes’ life will be held some time in the future, which will be announced. In lieu of plants, flowers or other gifts, the family suggests contributions be made in Wes’ honor to PBS Wisconsin, The Mining and Rollo Jamison Museum, Upland Hills Home Care and Hospice, or a conservation charity such as Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative (Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin) or The Xerces Society for bumble bee conservation. The Martin Schwartz Funeral Home and Crematory in Platteville is entrusted with his services.
The family extends their thanks to Dr. Jeffrey White, Kelsey and the staff at Medical Associates in Platteville for their years of care and friendship with Wes; and to the wonderful people at Upland Hills Home Care and Hospice.