John Kopmanis

John Kopmanis, 71 of Monroe, Michigan passed away peacefully on February 3, 2018 in his home in Monroe, surrounded by family.


Of Latvian descent, John was born in Lubeck, Germany to Karl and Marta (Jirgens) Kopmanis on March 18, 1946. Sponsored by Holy Ghost Lutheran Church, the family arrived via Ellis Island in 1950. John attended Monroe High School, graduating salutatorian of his 1964 class and attended the University of Michigan.  He married Sara Jane Gesell in 1965 and was a proud father of two sons, Jeffrey John and Michael Aaron.


He worked 30 years for Ford Motor Company as a tool and die maker, retiring in 1995. Among his many passions were travel, motorcycles, history, model airplanes, playing accordions and marksmanship. He was a devoted family man, spending free time with his family, and especially his cherished granddaughters.


He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 52 years, Sara, sons Jeffrey (Gretchen) of Ypsilanti and Michael (Ellen) of Monroe, and granddaughters Madalyn and Emily.  He is preceded in death by his brother, Erik, and parents, Karl and Marta.


Cremation is planned and a Memorial Service for family and friends will follow on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Merkle Funeral Services, 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan (734)384-5185.  Visitation with family and friends will be from 10:00am until a short Memorial Service at Noon, with Pastors George Fountain and Louie Barnett presiding. Immediately following, a luncheon will be served at nearby Bethany Eagles Nest Community Church, 2740 Nadeau Road in Monroe.


The family wishes to extend their gratitude for the compassionate care that the doctors, nurses and health aides of ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital ER, ICU units and Great Lakes Hospice Care provided in the month preceding John’s passing.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Great Lakes Caring Hospice. Online guests may leave words of comfort and inspiration or share a photo by visiting