In memory of

Gorden Dennis Kopperud

Jul 10, 1945
Dec 2, 2021


Gorden D. Kopperud, 76, of Salem, Oregon died on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 at his home in the loving embrace of family.

Gordy was born July 10, 1945 in Pelican Rapids, MN to Calmer and Selma (Hagen) Kopperud. He was raised on the family farm and was a 1963 graduate of Pelican Rapids High School. While growing up he loved playing sports, driving cars and creating life-long friendships. After high school he was drafted and served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. He married his first wife, Marilyn (Ness) Heller and together they had two daughters, Tina and Amy. He graduated from Moorhead State University and began teaching in Moorhead, MN.

Later Gordy moved to Minneapolis and started working at IMI Cornelius in Anoka, MN as a manager in the IT department. Over the next 30 years he progressed to the role of Vice President, Information Systems Technology. One of his most challenging accomplishments was overseeing the IT operations during the transition of manufacturing to China and Mexico. He enjoyed his career tremendously and often spoke of the many wonderful people with whom he worked.

On September 19, 1987 Gordy married Heather Harmsen and, three years later, daughter Stephanie was born. They enjoyed many wonderful years together. Favorite activities included trying new restaurants, volunteering at church, attending movies (popcorn was always a must), traveling, or just spending time together at home. His greatest joy in life was his family and he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

Gordy had many interests and was a life-long learner. He was an avid motorcycle enthusiast, owning several Harleys over the years and enjoyed annual trips to the Sturgis Rally with friends. He loved playing golf and annual golf trips with his brother and friends were a highlight of his year. He enjoyed playing cards, something he taught his girls so he would always be sure to have some competition. Weekends in the summer were spent at the family cabin on Otter Tail Lake in northwest Minnesota, not far from where he grew up. While there he enjoyed boating and connecting with family and friends. He was a dog lover and had several “best buds” over the years. 

After retiring, Gordy and Heather moved to Salem, Oregon where he enjoyed leisure activities, golfing with his brother and volunteering at the Marion County Dog Shelter. It was there he met and adopted his last canine companion, Shadow.

Gordy is survived by his wife, Heather, daughters Tina Johnson of Detroit Lakes, MN, Amy Scheffler of Fergus Falls, MN, and Stephanie Kopperud of Portland, OR, brother Arlen Kopperud (Marceil), granddaughter Hailee Johnson and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Sonja Corcoran, and brothers-in-law Fritz Corcoran and Timothy Gesler.

A celebration of life service will be held Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Johnson Funeral Home in Salem. A service is also being planned to take place in July, 2022 in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

Service Information

Celebration of Life 
Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Johnson Funeral Home
134 Missouri Ave. S.
Salem, OR 97302

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Bruce Kloehn says:

    Gorden was my boss for about 15 years at Cornelius and my friend for much longer. He was one of the smartest and kindest people I have ever met. His golf game was pretty good too. I still miss our weekly 9 holes we would get in after work and continued for a couple of years after his retirement.

  2. Richard Jenson says:

    We had many good times together. In prhs ndsu and other places He was a part of our wedding party. A very good friend.

  3. Connie Evenson, Fergus Falls MN says:

    My deepest sympathy to Gordon's family.

  4. Lynn Aaker says:

    My sympathies go out to Heather and the entire family of Gordy. I first met Gordy as a roommate in St. Louis Park, MN in the mid 70’s. We played golf for many years including the annual trips with his brother Arlen as well as a trip to play a Robert Trent Jones golf course in Dothan, AL, and also a “bucket list” trip to watch The Masters in Augusta, GA in 2018. Wonderful memories I will cherish the rest of my life.

  5. Marilyn Heller says:

    Gorden was my husband for 9 years and my friend for 60. He was a loving father to his girls and a wonderful husband to Heather. He will be missed.

  6. Marilyn Heller says:

    Gorden was my husband for 8 years and my friend for 60. He was a great father to our girls. He will be missed by me and his many friends. Condolences to Heather, Tina, Amy and Stephanie. He loved you so much .

  7. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts and prayers for Heather and family. May God be with you all.

  8. Linda Gesler. says:

    I am so sorry Gordy didn’t make to 90. He was such a kind and joyful person, good father, husband and son. He was the finest. We will miss him.

  9. Caitlin Sandin says:

    My heart goes out to the Kopperud family. Being a close friend of Stephanie, I got to know Gordy very well. I've been going to their house and the family cabin for nearly 20 years. A loving family they all made together. Love you all, Gordon will be missed so much.

  10. Johnson Funeral Home Staff says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home with his arrangements.


    Johnson Funeral Home Staff

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