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Alexandria man who died in rollover crash recalled for helping others

Joe Koopman

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Joseph Koopman of Alexandria died in a rollover crash in southwestern Minnesota last week.

Koopman, 40, was pronounced dead on the scene of a single-car crash Friday, May 17. He was the only person in the vehicle.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the crash was reported at 11:22 a.m. in Cottonwood. A 2011 Chevrolet Impala was traveling west on County Road 24 when it drove off the road and overturned.

Road conditions were clear and dry at the time of the crash, and it is under investigation by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

Koopman was a 20-year member of the U.S. National Guard, and was deployed twice, to Kuwait in 2004-05 and to Iraq in 2011-12. He worked at FAST Global Solutions in Glenwood.

Just two days prior to the crash, his family was part of Habitat for Humanity’s Hard Hat Breakfast in Alexandria. He was introduced to the crowd by his wife Chelsey, who was a keynote speaker at the event. The family was approved this year as a Habitat homebuyer.

Lori Anderson, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County, had gotten to know the family and been impressed by their giving nature.

“Joe and Chelsey are among the first to step up to help others and continually look for ways to give back to others,” she said.

An example Anderson cited was the Koopmans’ participation with the Jingle Bells Foundation, a local telethon that raises money for hundreds of families in need over the holidays. They have also demonstrated a genuine interest in helping others, she said, offering to take care of children of other Habitat homebuyers when needed, or blowing out driveways after snowfalls.

A 2018 Echo Press story detailed challenges the Koopmans faced with their daughter Mataya, who was born at Children’s Hospital with several medical issues. Chelsey said last week that 20-month-old Mataya, the youngest of their three children, has undergone 11 surgeries.