Gary Soper

Gary E. Soper, 76, of Harpers Ferry died Monday, November 19, 2018 at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, WI. Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 24 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon. Burial with military honors will be at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon. Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Friday, November 23 at Martin Funeral Home in Waukon.

Gary Eldon Soper was born March 19, 1942 to Lawrence “Eddie” E. and Marjorie (Batchelder) Soper in Anamosa. He graduated from Olin High School in 1960 and married Karen Anderson June 11, 1966. They made their home on Forest Mills Road, six miles outside of Waukon. They raised Quarter and Paint horses for many years, traveling far and wide to buy and sell his beloved horses.

He spent a 22-year career as a member of the Iowa State Patrol, retiring in 1986. Afterwards, he worked at the Northern Iowa Sport Shop in Waukon, where he enjoyed talking to customers and helping them with all of their hunting and fishing needs.

Gary served in the United States Army from 1961-1964, and was stationed in Italy for a portion of his service. He was a founding member of the local Sportsmen’s Club and was a member of the Allamakee County Conservation Board and Waukon Fire Department for 25 years. Gary was a member of both the Waukon and Harpers Ferry American Legions and received a Quilt of Honor in 2018.

In 2002, Gary and Karen moved to Harpers Ferry so they could enjoy the river. Gary spent many days fishing on the river and ‘patrolling’ the city. He enjoyed coffee with his friends each morning and when his many friends stopped over to chat as he sat in his chair outside the back door.

Gary was very proud of both of his children. He spoke proudly about Jared and Kari’s work in law enforcement and the recent promotions they received. His pride and support for law enforcement was steadfast over the years.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; his son, Jared (Jill) Soper; his daughter, Kari (Paul) Rea; three grandsons, Brent Ziegler and Ethan and Oliver Rea; foster children, Patty (Pat) O’Neill, Scott Snell and Thomas McKenna; his sister, Sandra Anderson; his brothers-in-law, John (Bev) Anderson, Rudolf (Peggy) Anderson and Larry (Holly Wold) Anderson. He was preceded in death by his parents; one infant grandson; and one brother-in-law, Larry Anderson.

Honorary casketbearers are all law enforcement officials and anyone that shared a cup of coffee with Gary. Casketbearers are Randy Brock, Carl Christianson, Jerry Johanningmeier, Lloyd Johanningmeier Jr., Jens Kallevang, Mike Ryan, Pat Ryan and Gary Schaefer.

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