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. Jeri Fake says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  2. Merilee Puls says:

    I remember bringing the Girls to a softball game at New Hope I never been there before but we made it and watched the game

  3. Paul & Barb Rudh says:

    Deepest sympathy for the loss of cousin Gordon, we will miss the visits at Ottertail Lake. Checked to see if you were there each time we went by the cottage last summer.

  4. Karen Showman Clabo says:

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Husband and Dad. Gordy was a wonderful man. Always smiling and so nice. I remember the first day I met him when he brought Stephanie over to play with Kelly. The three of you were so wonderful to Kelly and I will treasure those memories. Sending much love, hugs and prayers to all of you.

  5. Harold Hovland says:

    Gordy was my neighbor and best friend growing up on the farm. There are so many memories of us and our brothers meeting at the 'cliff' after a snow storm, playing ball at the Town Hall, duck hunting and also the trips to DL in Gordy's '39 Chev. Thanks for all the cherished memories.

  6. Deb mans says:

    We’re so sorry to hear of Gordys passing. He always had a friendly smile and a happy laugh. Hugs to you heather and Stephanie.

  7. Cousin Cheri says:

    Gordon was a life source. Full of laughter with that Kopperud, or was it Hagen, twinkle in his eye. Mom and Dad had a wonderful "movie" of him using a hula hoop! Fun memory...and he was good at it! His memory lives on

  8. Jan jennen says:

    Sorry for your loss

  9. Bruce Kloehn says:

    Gorden was my boss at Cornelius for about 15 years and my friend for longer. He was one of the smartest and kindest people I have ever met. I still miss our weekly 9 holes of golf that four of us would get in after work in the summer, then into the fall until it got too cold to hold a golf club.

  10. Lee Ann Harp and Vicki Rudh- Jones says:

    We are saddened to hear of cousin Gordon’s passing. Our sincere condolences.

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