MORTON — James A. Koppers, 64, of Morton, passed away at 11 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 3, 2019) at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria.
A New Year's Eve gift to his family, he was born on Dec. 31, 1954, in Evergreen Park, as the youngest of three sons, to Edward J. Koppers Sr. and Eleanore L. Lenzen Koppers. He married Mary Altes Wikoff on Dec. 31, 1998, in Peoria. She survives.
He is also survived by one son, Robert Allen, Lakewood, Colo.; one brother, Robert C. (Judy) Koppers, Shawnee Mission, Kan.; mother-in-law, Lilly Schoon, Bloomington; sister-in-law, Marie (Rob) Clodfelter, Minooka; three brothers-in-law, Charles Altes, Bloomington; Dale (Beverly) Altes, Elmendorf, Texas; Raymond P. (Joyce) Altes, Stanford; three grandchildren, Damien, Kaden and Piper Allen of Centennial, Colo.; many nieces and nephews; and his precious “soulmate kitties,” KC and Kelly, both of which are already lost without him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Edward J. Koppers Jr.
James proudly served in the United States Army, stationed with the Seventh Cavalry Unit in Germany. Over the years, he worked at WABCO, Edward Hine Printing Co., Caterpillar, G&D Integrated, Precision Planting, Farm & Fleet and Sears.
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He was a 20-plus year paid-up-for-life member of the American Legion, starting at Peoria Post 2, and later moving to Limestone Post 979. His proudest American Legion accomplishments were serving one term as Post 2 senior vice commander, two terms as Peoria County commander, and one year as assistant to the 16th district historian.
For close to 20 years, James and Mary were avid detectorists (metal detecting). They were longtime members of the Peoria Area Treasure Hunters club, and in recent years, James co-founded the Central Illinois Treasure Hunters club.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A graveside service with inurnment and military honors will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Soldier Hill in Springdale Cemetery, Peoria. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in James' name to your preferred veterans organization or a local animal shelter. Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Morton, is handling arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.knappjohnson.com.