Steven was born December 31, 1954, in Grundy Center, Iowa, the first child of Donald & Diane (Barge) Kopsa. At age 7, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He never used diabetes as a crutch, excuse, or reason to slow down. Rather, it gave him a zest for life; to live without regrets, to life’s fullest. His dependence on medicine made him a man with unquestionable belief in medical science and admired doctors and nurses for their wisdom and compassion. He spent many days in the hospital beds during his last years. He was an excellent patient until he felt good enough to get on with life. If you didn’t hand him his boots when it was time to be discharged from the hospital, he’d walk out of there barefoot.
As a youngster, Steve helped his father on the family farm and grew a passion for it. His mom said that one Thanksgiving, the family went to sit down for family dinner, and no one could find Steve. He was out on the tractor finishing a field. Later in life, he would say he’d farm even if no one paid him. It was in his blood and he loved doing it. He also found his talent for auto body work. An old boss once said that Steve would have a grinder in one hand and sandpaper in the other. He’d do twice the work as the others in half the time. Whether it was the neighbor’s car he needed to finish painting, or a corn field that needed to be harvested, he was always willing to work hard and go the extra mile. His work ethic was phenomenal.
Steve graduated from Wellsburg High School, class of 1973. Following high school, Steve worked for various auto body shops in the area and continued helping his father on the family farm. His first son, Jason, was born in 1977. In 1984, Steve married Sheila Everhart and they were blessed with children Meggan, Lauren, and Samuel. His children were the love of his life and he was unselfishly devoted to them. Steve and Sheila later divorced.
When Donald & Diane moved to Grundy, Steve moved to the family farm. He opened his own auto body shop, Kopsa Paint & Body, and farmed full time for his dad. His last few years, he found satisfaction rebuilding old Peterbilt semi-trucks; his most recent still needing a couple more lights and a bit more chrome. Steve’s hidden talent was cooking! He could open the fridge and cupboard, grab various items and come up with the most incredible meals; a legacy from his maternal grandparents who owned many restaurants in Iowa.
When Steve met Kathy, he found his yin and she found her yang or vise versa, depending on the situation or problem that needed solved. They did their fair share of traveling; taking in a Broadway or Vegas show, tracking down Evil Knievel, hitting up Gatorland; his favorite spot was Graceland. He found a liking for museums, history, ethnic foods, but always loved to return to his work and TV. He enjoyed socializing, dinner parties with friends, and he loved spending time with his local grandkids, Bexley, daughter of Meggan, and Adalee, daughter of Sam, all which ended in some kind of shenanigans. Steve also loved animals; he had horses for years, an occasional chicken or goat, and always had a Dalmatian. In recent years, a pug could be found on his lap.
Steve is survived by his significant other, Kathy Mock of Grundy Center; children Jason (Monica) Kopsa of Stevensville, MT, Meggan Kopsa, Lauren Kopsa, and Sam Kopsa, all of Grundy Center; grandchildren Rylee, Cassi, Emily, Bexley, and Adalee. He was preceded in death by his parents.
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