My dear husband, our Pop and Grandpa, Jacob Elton Kropf, was born on Sept. 21, 1941, at Atkinson, IL, to Levi and Freida Kropf. He peacefully passed away at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas, on Saturday evening Jan. 9, 2021, around 6:30 p.m. from complications following a massive stroke at the age of 79 years, 3 months and 19 days. The family had been at Camp Shiloh in Pittsburg, Texas, for a 3 day family reunion. On Friday eve before retiring to our beds he led in a devotional reading Psa. 73 and reminding us that we all need to be a part of the spiritual Israel and led in prayer.
That night he awakened with severe discomfort and shortness of breath. He was taken to Texarkana where he was diagnosed with having a massive stroke. A reversal drug was given to offset the effects of the stroke but still needed another procedure to remove the blood clot. He was then flown to Tyler for this purpose but it was unsuccessful. At 5:30 p.m. we were told his damage was progressing and he would be leaving us soon. The grandchildren were singing at the reunion and a phone was put up to grandpa’s ear to listen. At 6:30 p.m. with his wife and 2 of his children at his side a tired soldier was taken home. It was the end of one family reunion for Grandpa but only the beginning of a far more joyous reunion with his Lord and Saviour and his wife and son.
Pop spent his boyhood years with his parents and siblings on a family farm near Thomas, IL. In his youth he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour and was baptized on the confession of his faith. He was a faithful member of the Olive Hill Amish Mennonite Church near Sedalia, Mo., at the time of his death. On July 16, 1961, he was united in marriage to Darlene Baker at Tampico, IL. They shared the joys and sorrows of marriage for over 40 years. To this union were born 6 sons and 4 daughters of whom 9 survive.
In January of 1975 they moved to the family farm near Ozan, Ark., where many memories were made gathering eggs, raising hogs, putting up hay, swimming, and just being together as a family. In 1984 and the years following, grandpa’s were blessed with many grandchildren who also had many, many precious memories of spending time at grandpas. One favorite time for Pop was the family singing around the big kitchen table in the evening. Many times as we finished he asked for one more song called, “Good Night.” Although we didn’t always have all this world offers, Pop left us with a far greater inheritance of true riches.
On Feb. 16, 1975, at the age of 34 he was ordained to the ministry and in October, 1992, as bishop serving faithfully for many years. He preached many sermons and often expressed his concern of keeping the faith of our fathers. His prayers were a witness of his genuine connection to God.
In 1999 their youngest Marvin was tragically killed in an auto accident. In 2001, Darlene passed away from Ovarian cancer. These deaths were both very traumatic for Pop and gave him a longing to go home and join them.
In 2003 God again provided a help meet to share life with him and once again the sun shone in his life. He moved to the Sedalia, Mo., area and on March 14, 2003 he was united in marriage to Shirley Jean Hostetler of Sedalia, Mo., where he resided at the time of his death. He accepted Shirley’s children and grandchildren as his own. This acceptance was mutual from his new family and they whole-heartedly accepted him as their Pop and Grandpa. Many precious memories were made with Grandpa, grandchildren riding his barrel train, listening to his stories, and eating his barbeque chicken he loved to grill. Grandma was an inspiration to Pop’s life and made a huge impact on the whole family. The family will be forever grateful for the countless hours she spent caring for Pop’s needs in the last few years.
Left to cherish fond memories are his wife, five sons, and 4 daughters. Lorena and husband Sid Hostetler of Hartman, Ark.; Lois and husband Vernon Hostetler of Clarksville, Ark.; Merle and wife Elida of Nashville, Ark.; Nora and husband Roy Hostetler of Clarksville, Ark.; Jake and wife Doreen of Spragueville, Iowa;, Elmer and wife Renee of Hereford, Ariz; Amos and wife Renita of DeKalb, Texas; Paul and wife Alicia of DeKalb,Texas; Katie and husband Brent Hostetler of Nashville, Ark. Also 2 step-sons and 4 step-daughters, Rudy Hostetler and wife Jennifer of Sedalia, Mo.; Gary and wife Dawn of Hotchkiss, Colo.; Colleen and husband Robert Kropf of Sedalia, Mo.; Jewel and husband Jake Eigsti of Ravenden Springs, Ark.; Sharlene and husband Josh Hostetler of Pocohantas, Ark.; Renae and husband Nathaniel Christner of Pocahontas, Ark.; and Karla and husband Gene Kropf of Sedalia, Mo.
Besides his first wife, Darlene, and son Marvin, he was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Ada, son-in-law Kevin Kropf, grandchildren Tracey, Troyce, Tyler, Jewell, Deric, and Sara, and also two great-grandchildren.
We were so blessed to have had our Pop for these many years. We treasure the many memories of times spent with him. We are grateful to God for Pop’s testimony during his life and his ministry and pray the many ways other lives have been touched will bring glory to Him. Grandpa had a living faith and endeavored to keep the faith, and honoring his parents as he had been taught. He also had a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of his family and church.
The family wishes to thank each one for coming and sharing your kind words, love, prayers, and food during the time of his passing.
Services are scheduled as follows:
In Missouri – Visitation will be at Olive Hill Amish Mennonite School Sedalia, Mo., on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Funeral services at Olive Hill Amish Mennonite Church on Wednesday Jan 13, 10 a.m.
In Arkansas – Visitation will be at Mineral Springs Amish Mennonite School, Nashville, Ark.; on Thursday Jan. 14 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Funeral services at Mineral Springs Amish Mennonite Church on Friday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m.