Donald Ivan Koepp

PORTAGE - Donald Ivan Koepp, age 90, of Portage, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2022, while listening to the comforting words of his Lord and Savior.

Don was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, on September 29, 1931, the son of Ivan and Angeline (Konkel) Koepp.  His intense love of agriculture and farming started at age 12 when they moved to a farm on Lake Wisconsin near Merrimac.  After graduating from Prairie du Sac High School and the Farm Short Course at UW-Madison, he enlisted in the United States Army and served his country in the Korean War. On June 13, 1954, he married Carolyn J. Phillips from Columbia, South Carolina. They moved to their newly purchased farm in Caledonia Township where they raised their children, dairy cattle, hogs and agricultural crops. Don loved his farm and was always conservation minded.  He installed contour strips, water runs, grassed waterways and planted trees each year to preserve the land. In his early years of farming, he was voted “Outstanding Young Farmer” by the Portage Junior Chamber of Commerce.  In addition to the hard work of a family farm, Don volunteered time for his community and his church.  He served on the building committee for the Caledonia School and chaired the building committee for the previous Caledonia Town Hall.  At St. John’s Lutheran Church in Portage, he served on the Board of Elders and as chairman of the congregation.  He was also active in the Portage V.F.W. Post 1707, serving as Commander from 1994 to 2001.

Don is survived by his wife, Carolyn; their children, George (Polly) Koepp, Robert Koepp, Margaret Overby, and Beverly Livingston; grandchildren, Sarah, Dave, Leah, Susan, Janet, Emily and Kaitlyn; 16 great-grandchildren; his sister, Monnie VonBehren, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law; his sister, Verna VonBehren; brother, Roger Koepp; brothers-in-law, Alan VonBehren and Dale VonBehren; son-in-law, Dean Overby; and nephews, Dale VonBehren, Jr. and Peter Koepp.

Funeral services will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday, February 26, at noon with visitation from 9:30 to 11:45 am.  Burial and a committal service will be held in the Spring.  The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Memorials may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church Organ Fund, St. John’s Lutheran School, Portage V.F.W. Post 1707 or Heartland Hospice, 2801 Crossroads Dr., Suite 2000, Madison, WI  53718.

The family would like to thank Pastors Greg Hovland and Rod Armon, the Columbia County Health Care Center and Heartland Hospice for their loving care in Don’s last days.

Don loved farming, hunting, fishing, and teasing grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Most of all, he loved God and served him faithfully.  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, Matthew 25:21.