Richard's Story

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Richard Gene Fopma was born on Aug. 7, 1927, on the family farm north of Sully. He was the second of four children that were born to Rutford and Hattie (Jansen) Fopma. Rich, as he was known, attended the Highland Country Grade School and graduated from the Sully Christian Grade School. He then began a lifelong career in farming. On March 15, 1950, he was united in marriage with Marjorie Dahm, a daughter of Henry and Minnie (Van Roekel) Dahm. They were married at the Dahm home in Peoria. To this union five children were born: Ervin Lee, Judith Eileen, Verna Lou, Rick Eugene and Loren Jay. Rich thoroughly enjoyed farming and spending his life with Marjorie on the farm, raising their family. He is well-known for being a hard worker. He also enjoyed playing fast pitch softball in his earlier years and then watching his children play sports. He was an avid sports fan and had a competitive spirit. They moved in 1988 to a house they built in Sully, and Rich continued to help on the farm. Rich also enjoyed riding in the WHO and Red Rock Threshers tractor rides for many years. Rich and Marjorie also enjoyed traveling and visiting through the U.S. and Europe. They volunteered eight years for CRWRC (World Renew) projects and in the last years he enjoyed working at PET in Leighton. Rich enjoyed driving around the country, reminiscing, looking at the crops, and traveling around Iowa. Rich was a former member of the Sully Christian Reformed Church. After moving to Pella in 2007, he became a member of Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. Rich passed away on Nov. 12, 2015, at The Cottages. He attained the age of 88 years. Rich is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Marjorie, and their five children and their families. Ervin and Gayle Fopma of Sully: Judy and Tim Hoekstra of Chino, Calif: Verna and Al Klyn of Oskaloosa: Rick and Carla Fopma of Lynnville: Loren and Shawna Fopma of Sully: Of his original family, Rich leaves his three sisters, Bertha Zylstra, Clarine Van Kooten, both of Sully, and Lois and Norm Van Wyk of Pella. Of his wife’s family, he leaves her brothers, Arnold and Susan Dahm of Cleveland, Ohio, John and Sandi Dahm of Montezuma, her sisters, Norma and Ron Heimstra of Des Moines, Barb Slinker of West Des Moines, Erma and Al Guise of St. Louis, Mo., and brother-in-law, Ted DeVries of Prescott, Ariz. Rich was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers-in-law, Clarence Van Kooten, Donald Van Kooten, William Zylstra, Phil Slinker; and sister-in-law, Ruth De Vries. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends. Services were held on Monday, Nov. 16, at the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on  November 20, 2015
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