OBITUARY FOR DONALD L. SOPER
Donald L. Soper was born Feb. 11, 1933, at the old General Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
At age 7, his parents George and Lavernie Kendall Soper, moved the family north of the river to the Clay County Foxwood area. He attended 2nd through 8th grade at the two room Winn School and then NKC High School. He enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and served three tours of duty during the Korean War, aboard the USS HENRICO APA-45. On December 12, 1952, he married his high school sweetheart Betty De Spain in San Diego, CA. After his Navy discharge they returned to Clay County, MO, and later resided in Platte County for 50 years.
Don was an entrepreneur his entire life. His first “business” at age 9, was picking up pop-bottles in his red wagon along Hwy. 69 between Foxwoods and Burnstein’s Drugstore in Claycomo. He received 2 cents per bottle and ultimately the owner hired Don to stack the collected bottles. At age 15 he had an ice cream store in Foxwoods. He started a lawn mowing service at 16, with four boys and lawnmowers, which he delivered to and picked up from each job. Don went on to own food drive-ins, service stations, restaurants and a garden center, all in Clay County. He then owned and operated the Great Plains Motel in Platte County from 1961-67, and the Airport Motor Inn in Platte City from 1968-1979. In 1979, Don and Betty bought the historical Basswood Fishing Resort, which took 7 years to restore and build into the Basswood Country Inn and RV Resort. It was voted both National and Missouri State Campground of the Year twice. They operated the resort, east of Platte City, for 25 years. Over 33 years Don also founded and operated a ground development and building business. He served on the Platte City board of Aldermen where he wore several hats.
Don was founding president of the USS Henrico Reunion Assoc., which he and Betty ran for 40 years, having reunions across the U.S. He served four terms as Commander of VFW Post 4055, Platte City and was honored for signing up the most life members during his terms by the MO State VFW. Don was a member of the First Christian Church in Platte City; the Platte County Historical Society, charter member of the Platte County Eleemosynary Society, and the USS Henrico APA-45 Reunion Association. He and Betty loved to travel and toured 24 foreign countries and all 50 states, many by motor home. Don generously donated land for a senior housing complex, two parks and land adjoining the Platte City cemetery.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, James M. Soper. He is survived by his wife Betty, daughter, Susan Soper Hurd-Van Amburg (Jim), son Donald Duane Soper (Val), all of Platte City. Daughter, Alisa Soper James (Mike) of Omaha. Six grandchildren, Heath Hurd (Monica), Reese Hurd (Casandra), Donald Alex Soper, Lauren James Purcell (Nolan), Samantha Soper Robertson (Dylan) and Brian James; three great grandchildren, Archer Hurd, Nadine Hurd and Ashton Hurd. Sisters Barbara Soper Hazelrigg and Karen Soper Clubine (Roger) and brother George F. Soper.
Family will receive friends Friday, March 13th at 2:30 p.m. with Funeral Services at 3:30 p.m., Terrace Park Funeral Home (801 Northwest 108th Street, Kansas City) followed by entombment and military honors.
As so inclined, memorials are suggested to support the Platte City volunteer fire department.
Central Platte Fire District, 201 Main St, Platte City, 64079.
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