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Thomas William Kopel

Thomas William Kopel, age 71 of Quincy, Illinois, formerly of Donnelly, MN, passed away May 11, 2024, at Missouri Baptist Medical Center St. Louis, MO, with his wife by his side.

He is remembered as a fun and loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, cousin, uncle, and loyal friend to many. He was the son of Joe and Evelyn Kopel of Donnelly, MN.

Celebration of Life for Tom Kopel will be held Thursday, May 30, 2024, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Sullivan Country Club in Sullivan, Illinois.

Tom graduated Morris Minnesota Senior High in 1970 after which he joined the United States Navy at 17, where he served for four years. He then attended Alexandria Technical College until 1976 when he moved to Ames, IA where he met and married Cathy Long on August 22, 1981, at Quincy Luther Memorial Church. They resided in Ames, Iowa for 10 years where they had two daughters, Catrina and Lindsay. Tom worked for Sundstrand Corporation which then became Sauer Sundstrand. In 1991, Tom’s job took him to Sullivan, Illinois where he would continue his dedication for the parent company, Sauer Sundstrand, but under a new name, Hydro Gear. This company would be Tom‘s life for the next 35 years. Tom worked through the ranks to become the Head of Research and Development along with Head of Field Service while traveling globally from China to Europe, serving customers all these years, and working endless hours. He earned the title Marketing Segment Director and the respect of his fellow workers and customers. In 2021, when approaching retirement, Tom moved to Quincy, Illinois, his wife’s hometown, to help care for her aging father. He continued to travel to and for Hydro Gear while also working remotely.

Tom never knew a stranger. His smile and laugh were intoxicating. He loved talking about anything but really enjoyed a lengthy conversation about politics, war history, or investing. He traveled with his family and always was ready for a game of cards.

At work, his coworkers called him “The Godfather” recognizing his long and dedicated service as a veteran employee. At home, he was known as “The Accommodator” always trying to satisfy our wants whether it be a box of candy, a gift card to a fast food restaurant, something to eat or drink, or a blanket to cover you up.

Survivors include his wife: Cathy of Quincy, Illinois; father-in-law and best friend: James E. Long, of Quincy; three sisters: Barb (Frank) Staebler of Leonardtown, Maryland; Wanda (Steve) Rentz of Mankato, Minnesota; Peggy, (Doug) Kill of Morris, Minnesota; and one brother: Rob (Kathy) Kopel of Donnelly, Minnesota; two daughters: Catrina Fay LaDew of Flushing, Michigan; Lindsay Jo (Eric) Burton of Monticello, Illinois; three grandchildren: Savannah LaDew, Evelyn Burton, and James Burton; two brother-in-law‘s: Jamie Long and Danny Long of Quincy, Illinois; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents and mother-in-law, Dolores “Dodie” Long.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Thomas W. Kopel STEM Scholarship Fund. They can be mailed to Hansen-Spear Funeral Home 1535 State Street Quincy, IL 62301 or made online through the Hansen-Spear website at https://memorials.hansenspear.com

Arrangements are with Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors.