OBITUARY

Daniel Stuart Bopp

December 21, 1946June 28, 2019
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Daniel Stuart Bopp, 72, of Bloomington, passed away on Friday, June 28, ending a profound life journey taken by a one-of-a-kind man. Dan’s life was uniquely his, directed and conducted in the way he wanted, yet never selfishly so. Those who knew him were lucky to share in the diverse, rich experiences he shaped with uncommon creativity, finely-honed wit, and authentic compassion.

Born on December 21, 1946 in Clayton, MO to Orville Bopp and Evelyn (Vulbrock) Bopp, Dan’s early years were centered in Kirkwood, MO, where he attended Lutheran High School South. Moving on, Dan matriculated at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN, where he studied economics. Following graduation from college, Dan began a lifelong pursuit in the field of education, returning home to Kirkwood where he taught at his alma mater. It was not long before Dan returned to Indiana, however, settling in Bloomington, his home for many years to come, and earning a Master of Science in Education degree in 1975.

Professionally, Dan spent his first two decades in Bloomington as an English teacher across the Monroe County school system, most frequently at Bloomington High School North. His reputation for enforcing the rules of the English language (often in a characteristically whimsical way, of course) preceded him, during his teaching years and after – as his family would come to know for many years, former students and colleagues were quick to remember Mr. Bopp, always fondly even if begrudgingly so.

Boldly changing direction in the middle of his professional life, Dan decided to pursue a career in the legal field. Finding familiarity in the structure and application of the law (which, in this way, he found a pleasant analog to the English language), Dan completed his Juris Doctorate degree from Indiana University Bloomington in 1992, graduating magna cum laude. He went on to success as an attorney, clerking for the Indiana Supreme Court and then spending several years in the Monroe County Public Defender’s and Prosecutor’s offices. Fittingly, Dan took one more career turn, returning to education and joining the Indiana University School of Continuing Studies as an Administrator, and was instrumental in shaping distance-based degree programs for both high school and college students. Concurrently, he also wrote and taught English courses through these programs, carrying on a role he had played through IU for many years and would continue until his passing.

Personal interests and endeavors of Dan were varied, purposeful, and sometimes quirky. Though too numerous to list these in full, he held a deep passion for running, reading, and writing, but could often be found intensely engaged in a range of creative projects: gardening and “do-it-yourself” style construction to name a few. At the same time, he found joy in spontaneous activities, spending time outdoors where he would search for and gather various natural objects that caught his eye; rocks, fossils, and beach glass were particular favorites. He was also a dedicated fan to the iconic sports teams of his original and adopted hometowns, the St. Louis Cardinals and Indiana Hoosiers.

Beyond what he accomplished and did, those who knew Dan will remember him for who he was: a man of deep passion and sharp intellect that could be just as well directed towards profound thought or casual practical humor, always with characteristic modesty and kindness. With this, he moved many friends and acquaintances in his personal life, and was married, briefly, to Mary Ann Hope and, for 20 years, Mary Strow of Bloomington with whom he had a son. He is survived by his son Aaron Bopp of Bend, OR, his father and step mother Orville and Sandy Bopp of Arvada, CO, and his sister Muriel Root of Sunnyvale, CA. He was preceded in death by his mother Evelyn (Vulbrock) Bopp.

An informal celebration of Dan’s life will be held at the University Club of the Indiana Memorial Union on Saturday, July 6th at 3:00pm, with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Middle Way House of Bloomington, IN or the Environmental Defense Fund of New York, NY.

Services

  • Informal Celebration of Life Saturday, July 6, 2019

Memories

Daniel Stuart Bopp

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George Smith

July 6, 2019

Oh my friend and colleague, your academic efforts were only overshadowed by your friendship. There, you'd walk into my office in the basement of Owen Hall, I knew it was you since on the way you would kibitz with anyone who happened to be in the area. Discussion could center on nothing but life on the third floor or his bike or can I get a ride home and put my bike in your truck since it snowed since his arrival or baseball or life in general. Dan and I were colleagues first, at North in the 1970's, then became friends at IU. An amazing man, this Dan Bopp, searching for the answers while enjoying the ride. Rest in Peace my friend, you will be greatly missed.

Lisa Belcher Hamilton

July 4, 2019

Mr Bopp was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I wish I’d told him that he, along with Lane Hicks and John Lair, all of the Bloomington HS North English department, inspired me to major in English.
Thank you, Mr Bopp, for being an unforgettable teacher of grammar, and for encouraging me to write. Gratitude also for being one of the most energized partakers of life ever!

Nicholas Jose Tenuto

July 4, 2019

I'm very sorry to lean abut Mr. Bopp's passing. He was my English teacher last semester and this semester. I always appreciated his kindness, and the time he took to answer questions. I will always carry what he taught me, with me.

Mike H

July 2, 2019

This photo of Daniel may well have been taken off the coast of Santa Barbara. My wife. Marylove Thralls, and I became friends with Daniel when he moved to Santa Barbara for several years to support IU's extended learning program.. Marylove actually recruited Daniel to be my friend (old guys in particular needing as many friends as we can get). We bonded over sports (baseball Dodgers v. Cards and football, and football - as an OU grad I had more to cheer about.) Daniel was a regular at our house for libations, and dinner, including Thanksgiving. We became friends and both of us stayed in touch when Daniel moved back to Bloomington. We were always trying to recruit Daniel to move back. I will miss our sports and esoteric and politically focused discussions. As an English major and lawyer we both had a lot in common. Our best to Aaron and Daniel's family. He is and will continue to be missed. Daniel was an eclectic and interesting person, companion. and friend. The world is a sadder place for his passing. Mike Hackett, Marylove Thralls, Santa Barbara, CA

Paul Milora

July 2, 2019

Bigger than life personality, made our summer vacations to Belmont lake unforgettable, whether fishing, evening bonfires, hiking in search of the speakeasy, nights at the havelock hotel, frogging, from the smallest event to the fish fry and the derby results, the picture and comment journal he meticulously prepared, the daily itinerary and the to numerous to recall here events, Dan was the director of the greatest and happiest times in my memories of Belmont. I'm certain his whole life was filled with similar accolades to his unique character.
Harry and Annette Hurd will be waiting by the "mile of memories" to welcome his arrival!
Condolences and regrets to his loved ones!

Ann Norton

July 1, 2019

Dan was one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever known. Summers at Belmont Lake will never be forgotten due to Dan’s creative energy and genuine love and passion. He turned a quiet rural lake into a place filled with such fun and joy: a yearly crowning of a king and queen, a fishing derby with a special jacket that the winner embroidered their name on each year, fish fries and chili parties, a portapotty purchased at a junkyard decorated and delivered to a boat docked in another town to surprise the owner who had no facilities complete with a palm tree, and the turtle soup that we all had to taste a result of Dan catching a huge terrapin instead of a fish during derby day! I could go on and on with wonderful memories provided by a wonderful man who ,indeed, was one of a kind! Lucky to have known him.

Thomas Milora

July 1, 2019

As a teenager going to Belmont Dan always made each summer more memorable than the next. I always enjoyed being around him for the next unplanned adventure or to talk and share a few laughs. I am a better person for knowing him!

Michael Burke

July 1, 2019

So sorry to hear about Dan. Enjoyed our times at Belmont Lake and many great conversations. My Dad was very fond of him. May they both be looking down on us enjoying a cold one together.

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