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Roman Koep, 72

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Roman Mathias Koep, 72, Parkers Prairie, died peacefully with his family at his side on Friday, August 15, 2014 at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He had been fighting the repercussions of a tractor rollover accident since July 5, 2014.

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Roman was born September 13, 1941 to Arthur and Evelyn (Danelke) Koep in Parkers Prairie. He attended Parkers Prairie High School and began his first job with the Urbank Creamery as a milk truck driver at age 17.

He met the love of his life, Judy Dropik, at a teen hop dance in Brandon and eventually married her September 6, 1965 at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville.

Following their marriage, they lived in Alexandria before eventually making their life-long home in Parkers Prairie where they raised their five children: Connie, Bob, Hollie, Heather and Dustin.

Roman served the country as a part of the National Guard for six years, which was a great source of pride for him. He began working for Wedums Supply in Alexandria in 1965 as a warehouse worker, truck driver and eventually a salesman until 1981. While at Wedums, he started his trucking business, Koeps Septic, in 1973, which eventually became a family business that he ran with his wife and son Bob.

Roman also farmed, ran a beef cattle operation and worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for nearly 35 years.

Roman was a loving, hard-working and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend. He was truly a servant of God by his many good deeds, saying his prayers each and every night on his knees at his bedside and attending Mass regularly.

He loved his family, friends and neighbors and was welcoming to strangers, caring for and becoming attached to all living things. He enjoyed teasing his grandchildren, along with any other kid he ever came across, by calling them all "George."

Roman loved to laugh, crack jokes, tell stories, be social and was always the life of the party. He also loved music, whether it was listening to his favorite songs on the radio, an old time band, playing his accordion, or going out dancing with Judy (mostly Polish polkas and waltzes).

His genuine personality drew respect and attention from everyone he met, and he made personal connections everywhere he would go.

Roman was an avid car collector, belonging to the Vintage Car Club of Alexandria. He loved every minute spent talking about his classic cars, going for rides, and was in his pride and glory when he could walk anyone through his car sheds, share photos or do anything having to do with old cars.

He was an active member of St. Williams Catholic Church where he served as a long time trustee. He was also a board member of St. Williams Living Center for more than 20 years and spent a lot of time helping out those in need.

Roman worked incredibly hard his entire life and even at age 72 still would not retire. He loved life and everything he did!

Recently, though, Roman was finally at a place in his life where he had started taking the time to enjoy the fruits of his labor by playing more cards (mostly 500), visiting with friends, buying roses for his wife and spending more time with his children and their families.

No matter how busy he was, Roman always made time to be at his farm where he loved to be in the field, make hay and just enjoy the land. Overall, Roman was passionate about every aspect of his life. Romans wife and children are so proud of him! He will be sadly missed by his family and so many others.

Roman is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years, Judy; children, Connie (Greg) Forstner of Rapid City, South Dakota, Bob (Laurie) Koep of Parkers Prairie, Hollie (Bob) Kulzer of Osakis, Heather Koep of Melrose, and Dustin (Tracy) Koep of Hudson, Wisconsin; 17 grandchildren; mother, Evelyn Koep of Parkers Prairie; sisters, Margie (LeRoy) Thoennes and Carol (Alvin) Hellerman, both of Parkers Prairie; aunts, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Koep; three infant siblings and many aunts and uncles.

Mass of Christian Burial is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at St. Williams Catholic Church in Parkers Prairie, with Fr. Peter VanderWeyst and Fr. Herb Gappa officiating. Burial is at the church cemetery.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at St. Williams Catholic Church, with a 7 p.m. parish prayer service. The visitation will continue one hour prior to Mass on Tuesday.

Pallbearers are Greg Forstner, Bob Kulzer, Glen Olson, Rick Gappa, Larry Moske and Bill Robinson.

Arrangements are with Lind Family Funeral and Cremation Service; lindfamilyfh.com.

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