In Your NeighborhoodJackson - Hillsdale


Jackson builder retires after 30 years, leaving behind a legacy of homes and inspiration

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-05 17:19:37-04

JACKSON, Mich. — After 30 years of building homes, a Jackson man is ready to throw in the towel. On his last day of work, we talked about his unique efforts to help build a brighter future for the younger generation of students.

John Kopp tells me he fell in love with building and teaching in his late 20s and knew it was the career for him.

"I started going to community college, and then later on, to Eastern, and I got a degree in vocational education," said Kopp.

Since then, he's been putting up homes throughout the Jackson area, but he's more than just a builder.

"I am apart of a group called the Michigan Construction Teachers Association, and I spoke in front of them a couple years ago and told them I’m the luckiest teacher in the state of Michigan," Kopp said.

And while building homes with hammer and nails, Kopp also gave kids the tools of their own by creating study rooms inside many of his houses.

Kopp's stepdaughter Annie Williams looks at him as her hero when she reflects on what he did for the family.

"Raise a family, be home, be able to take a vacation, when he was able to, with all the work he did, it's pretty amazing," said Williams.

Today, Kopp is ready for the next chapter of his life.

"I touched a lot of lives. I see former students all the time in the box stores or the lumberyards, and we go back in the memory back on what we did, and when we did it," Kopp said.

A legacy that lives on in each home he touched.

"Everything just felt and felt like time to pass the torch to the next guy," he said.

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