Francis and Margaret Kopel met in April of 1946,
shortly after Francis returned from the Navy. In November of that year, they were married in East Moline. They made a home in the in
the Quad City area for 58 years—first living in Moline, then Green River, Silvis, and East Moline. They were stalwarts of the community
in Watertown, a neighborhood on the north side of East Moline.
Francis was born in Centerville, Iowa in 1925. Francis had four siblings—Joe, Alfred,
Rosalee, and Dolores. Only Delores, who lives in Rock Island, Illinois, is still living. Francis joined the Navy at the age of seventeen
and served the United States during World War III—from 1942 to 1946. He served aboard several aircraft carriers, but mostly aboard the
U.S.S. Kassan Bay, an escort carrier. While on the Kassan Bay, Francis was a tail gunner on a dive bomber and nearly circumnavigated the
world—from one coast of India to the other—from Bombay to Madras—traveling through the South and Central Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the
Atlantic, the Mediterranean. He participated in the invasion of Europe. He was a member of, and a union steward for, the United Auto
Workers (local 865), at that plant. Francis was Scoutmaster for the Watertown Boy Scouts (troop 324), a Master Mason (Lodge 898), and
a member of the American Legion (Post 227). Francis retired, in 1973, from John Deere Harvester Works, after 31 years of work.
Margaret was born in Linton, North Dakota, in 1931. Margaret has a sister, Gene, living in Summerville, South Carolina, a brother,
Leonard, living in Denver, Colorado, and half sister, Beatrice, living in Walled Lake, Michigan. When her youngest son, Rick, was
one year old, she went to beauty school in Moline, Illinois. After acquiring her skills (at the head of her class), Margaret operated
Kopel’s Korner, a beauty shop in the Watertown neighborhood of East Moline, for 22 years, and managed Booze and Bait during its 33 years
In 2004, Francis and Margaret finally retired and moved south to Winter Haven, Florida.