Whether he was in the role of business executive, board member, athlete or father, David Koentopf was one of those people who produced extraordinary results, both in himself and others, those who knew him said.
The Minnetonka businessman started his career with Arthur Andersen in 1966 after graduating with distinction from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. After working as a controller with Arctic Enterprises, he became president of General Leisure Products Corp. in Omaha. In 1973 he was recruited as one of the youngest vice presidents in the history of First National Bank of Chicago.
Koentopf subsequently served as president of Steiger Tractor Inc. and president of the Eden Prairie-based photography giant Lifetouch Inc.
"He was one of the brightest business leaders I've ever worked with," said Nancy Dahl, president and COO of Lifetouch Portrait Studios in Eden Prairie.
Koentopf, who had suffered from dementia for the past few years, died Tuesday at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. He was 66.
Colleagues attributed much of his business success to his integrity, his high standards for excellence and his willingness to mentor business students and manage co-workers looking for career direction.
Koentopf served many nonprofits, including as director and president of the Fargo Symphony Orchestra, director and chairman of Methodist Hospital and the first chairman of the board of directors of HealthSystem Minnesota, formed when Methodist merged with Park Nicollet Medical Center in 1993.
"As a board member he was totally responsible, always on time and never compromised responsibility," said Lloyd Sigel, who in 1978 founded Lloyd's Barbecue and served on several boards with Koentopf. "He was an upstanding citizen that any board would be proud of."
Koentopf, who was born in Excelsior and who graduated from Lakeville High School, enjoyed playing cribbage, running and working out, and had an encyclopedia-like knowledge of sports trivia.
"You could not stump him on anything, especially on baseball or basketball," said former WCCO-TV sports anchor Ralph John Fritz, who worked with Koentopf at Lifetouch for more than 20 years.
Koentopf also taught Sunday school and was "an amazing father who had the ability to connect and share with us [his kids] his solid values," said his son David Jr., of Chico, Calif.
In addition to David Jr., Koentopf is survived by his wife of 28 years, Karen of Minnetonka; another son, Dirk of Shorewood; a daughter, Ydun Koentopf of Denver; two stepdaughters, Amy Narum of Minneapolis and Kristin Farrell of Plymouth; two brothers, Virgel of Burnsville and Mitchell of Mesa, Ariz.; three sisters, Betty Lou Hicks of Burnsville, Arlys Larson of Lakeville and Judy Messerli of Arlington, Texas, and six grandchildren.
Services have been held.