Ireton, Iowa: Leona M. Koopmans, 93, of Ireton, Iowa died Friday, April 27, 2018 at Hillcrest Health Care Center in Hawarden, Iowa. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, May 3, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ireton with Rev. Michael Boothby officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton. Visitation, with the family present, will be held Wednesday, May 2, from 5:00-7:00 PM at the church. A prayer service will follow the visitation, beginning at 7:00 PM. Memorials may be left for the family and condolences may be given to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.
Leona Mary Alice Van Wyhe was born March 26, 1925 to John and Sophie (Klave) Van Wyhe on a farm 5 miles west of Ireton, Iowa. She attended country school near Ireton and recalled fondly the days of playing with her siblings with just a few toys and a ton of imagination.
Leona married Henry Koopmans on February 25, 1944. The two made their home on a farmstead just south of Ireton and together they farmed for over 40 years. Leona and Henry were blessed with ten children.
Leona was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She enjoyed her vegetable garden, flower gardening, sewing, and keeping up with her growing family. Most days she was busy in the kitchen frying up egg sandwiches, while making sure all the kids knew what their chores were and that they got them done. While there were chairs around her kitchen table, she had very little use for them, except to offer a spot to sit and rest for family or friends who stopped by. This was especially true on Sundays, as it became a tradition for the family to gather after church for coffee at grandma’s each week. The kitchen table was permanently extended to its longest length and some hostesses would have put up the “no vacancy” sign but not Leona. She could always make room for one more.
After her husband died in 1985, Leona retired from farming. She built a house in Ireton and moved to town in 1988. In retirement, Leona could be found walking with her friends in Ireton for exercise or playing Uno with her grandchildren and welcoming every little spook in the city to her doorstep for her favorite holiday, Halloween. In 1994, at the age of 69, Leona wrote an autobiography “Memoirs of Leona Koopmans”. She believed that the best way to preserve the past was to write it down and distribute it to the generations that follow.
Leona is survived by 10 children, Janice (Bernie) Fedders, Sharole Rens, Arven (Patti) Koopmans, Randy (Cindy) Koopmans, Ronnie (Connie) Koopmans, Jim (Mary) Koopmans, all of Ireton, Sandy (Ken) Van Voorst, Bob (Darla) Koopmans, both of Sioux Center, Iowa, Jeanna (Mark) Negaard, LeaAnn (Duane) Bonnema, both of Hawarden, Iowa; 36 grandchildren; 49 great-grandchildren (and one on the way); brother, Ray (Dorothy) Van Wyhe of Hawarden; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; grandson, Dustin Koopmans; 6 brothers and sisters, Lawrence (Sophie) Van Wyhe, Hazel (Russ) Popma, Johnnie (Fern) Van Wyhe, Elmer (Stella) Van Wyhe, Viola (Howard) Liston, and Robert Van Wyhe; and 6 brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Charles (Viola) Koopmans, Margaret (Harm) Ten Napel, William (Dorothy) Koopmans, Jeanette (Andy) Anema, Henrietta (Earl) Kooi, and Arven Koopmans.