Barbara Jean Kopperud, 62, of Red Wing, died unexpectedly Thursday, October 21, 2021, at her home of a brain aneurism. She was born January 28, 1959, in Westbrook, Minnesota, to Konrad and Marian (Otto) Kopperud and was a 1977 graduate of Westbrook High School. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead. While there, she sang in the Concordia College Choir, one of the best in the country. After receiving a degree in art history and communications, she went on to obtain her Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1987. She was united in marriage to fellow Wartburg classmate, James Borden, on July 20, 1985, at Old Westbrook Lutheran Church. After Barbara was ordained in 1988, she served churches in Wykoff, MN from 1988-92; Zumbrota, MN at United Redeemer 1992-98; Wanamingo Lutheran 1998-2002; LaCrescent 2009-12 and Sibley, IA 2012-2020, retiring last summer. One year in particular, was very important for Barbara and James—in 1997 they traveled to Central Russia, and came back with their children they lovingly adopted, Irina and Alex. In her career, Barbara loved leading worship, as well as initiating and starting new things for her churches and congregations. She was active with the ELCA Synod communities and was amazed by the work that was being done on a national level. Having collegiality with other pastors was important to her as was the work being done internationally with other countries. She was able to travel on church-related study trips to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Central America, but very much loved learning other cultures and meeting new people, regardless of her reasons for traveling. Barbara was a talented singer, growing up in a very musical family and church, she was gifted soprano and was able to share her talents not only at her churches, but within her communities often through Community Theater. Barbara was a woman of many roles not only as a pastor but for her family—she thrived on planning events and special meals for her children and loved to create a hospitable, welcoming space, along with her husband for her guests and friends. She and James were the perfect complement to each other, and looked forward to traveling together, spending time at their lake home in Waterville, MN and renovating their historic home they had recently moved to in Red Wing.
She will be dearly missed by her husband, James Borden of Red Wing and 2 children, Irina Borden of Rockford, IL and Alex Borden of Edina; as well as her siblings, Lynette (Warren Wollenburg) Kopperud of Edina, Dennis (Karen) Kopperud of Westbrook and Julie (Dean) Okins of Santa Cruz, CA and brothers-in-law, Tim Borden of Rockford, IL and John Borden of Los Angeles, CA. She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Wing, with Rev. Dana Jackson officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 at the church and for one hour prior to the service. Burial will take place at Oakwood Cemetery, Red Wing at a later date. Memorials are preferred to the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal Fund or Wartburg Theological Seminary.
Arrangements handled by Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com