Melvin “Mel” William Bopp

Melvin “Mel” William Bopp

Melvin “Mel” William Bopp


Melvin “Mel” William Bopp, 83, of Marion, Iowa, died on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was born in New Salem, Morton County, N.D., on July 18, 1939, to William “Bill” C. and Irene L. (Wullschleger) Bopp. At that time, women who were about to deliver babies went into New Salem to be delivered by a midwife. This was also during the time that party lines were in use by the phone companies and Irene wanted to share this moment with her husband privately, so all she told him was that the baby had been born. Bill took what she said to mean that they now had three girls in their family. Imagine his surprise in finding out that he was the proud father of a boy!

Mel went through eight years of country grade school at Columbia #2 and graduated from the 8th grade in 1953. He then went to New Salem High School in town and graduated in 1957, in a class of about 40 students.

Mel worked at home on his parents’ farm, as well as working on Hubert Friese’s farm for two years. In the spring of 1959, he moved out to Tacoma, Wash.m to be near his oldest sister, Loretta, and her husband. He worked for St. Paul & Tacoma Company (lumber company). When his sister and brother-in-law moved to California, he relocated to Minnesota to look for work and in May 1960 was hired by the NCR Corporation. He worked in Minneapolis until August of 1960 when he was transferred to the NCR office in Saint Cloud, Minn. In July of 1961, he was sent to school in Dayton, Ohio, and then was back in Saint Cloud. In 1963, he was called up by Uncle Sam and was sent to “Fort Lost in the Woods” (Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.). After basic training, he was stationed at Fort Knox and in June 1964 was sent to Korea. He returned from Korea in July 1965, was discharged, and returned to Saint Cloud. NCR sent him back to school in Dayton for six months. In January 1966, he was transferred to the NCR office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

He met his future wife, Shirley Gerson, at NCR and they were married in Las Vegas, Nev., in June 1969. Part of their honeymoon was spent watching the moon landing. In the early 1980s, Mel and Shirley started building a home near Sutliff, Iowa, and they lived there until their divorce in 1991, when he moved back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He continued working for NCR and made many friends while working there. He retired from NCR in 1997.

Mel and Kathy Teigland had known each other because of his working with her uncle at NCR and they became reacquainted with each other in 1993, and in 1995, Kathy moved to Iowa. Over the course of the years, they traveled to Hawaii, Europe, and to several states in the United States. In October 2005, Mel and Kathy were married in Marion, Iowa, in the back yard of one of his coworkers and neighbors from NCR. In October 2021, they “borrowed” the Golden Birthday tradition and declared it as their “Golden Anniversary.”

Mel was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Loretta Kercher and Elynor Gustafson; and his stepson, Christopher W. Gerson. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, in Marion, Iowa; stepchildren, Elizabeth Gerson in Houghton, Mich., and Charles Gerson in Lakewood, Colo.; Kathy’s children; and many other family and friends.

He asked to be cremated and his ashes be scattered in the back pasture that his parents owned and that he now owns in Rural New Salem, Morton County, N.D. He also will have ashes buried in Bethel Cemetery in New Salem, Morton County, N.D.

Please share your support and memories with Mel’s family on his Tribute Wall at under Obituaries.

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