Marion resident Dr. Victor Kopfenstein, a veterinarian, possesses a unique compassionate leadership style that has earned him respect in business, municipal government and social services circles throughout his professional life.
Victor and his wife, Pat, settled in Marion after he earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1962. He wasted no time in forging his career, founding the Linn Animal Hospital in 1963. He was a founding member of the Linn County Veterinary Medicine Association, serving seven years as the organization's president.
Victor exhibited the same vigor in enmeshing himself as an integral part of his community. His entrepreneurial spirit is underscored by his involvement with the Central Business District Revitalization during the 1970s and ' 80s; the planning and fundraising for the Nancy Miller Marion Library Project; and the creation of MEDCO. He actively participated in numerous economic development projects, bringing businesses, industries, jobs and development to Marion.
The Klopfensteins have been leaders of the Marion Historical Society and were instrumental in obtaining the building now called The Heritage Center, which celebrates the history of Marion. They have been leaders in Friendship Force International - an organization committed to the cause of world friendship. After years of promoting exchanges with people from around the world and visiting many countries as delegates of Friendship Force, the Klopfensteins were awarded the International Wayne Smith Medal for Exceptional Leadership. The only other Iowans to claim this award were Gov. Robert Ray and his wife, Billie.
Victor has been on mission trips assisting victims of natural disasters and, most recently, with Pat and other family members, took a mission trip to Zambia and South Africa working with disadvantaged children.
Victor is probably best known for his 34 consecutive years of city leadership - 18 years as a City Council member 16 more as mayor of Marion. During that time, the city saw substantial growth in population and business importance.
Business associate Bob Verhille had this to say: "The fact that the citizens of Marion have given him a mandate eight times for elected office, including four terms as mayor, tells the story of his ethics and integrity." \
Victor has retired professionally but continues to chair two local Community Action Committees. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors for: Marion Cares, Heritage Savings bank, Milestones, Marion Independent School Foundation, and Secretary of the Marion Park and Recreation Foundation.
Victor was awarded a Key to the City of Marion for his 34 years of service. A school room and the Kloopfenstein Amphitheater for the Arts are named for Victor and Pat for their community service.