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Jeff Kooyman: A life renewed

Jeff sank into an abyss of drugs and mental illness for years. But he has found a brighter future in Lodi with his family, friends, faith and music.

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Jeff Kooyman’s 1965 Lodi High School yearbook photo.

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Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:27 am, Mon May 7, 2012.

Jeff Kooyman stands outside the Chevron station on Ham Lane, a generic cigarette in one hand and his size-12 boot propped on a cement planter. His black Dyno-glide, the beach cruiser he pedals powerfully around Woodbridge and Lodi, leans against the stucco building. It allows him to travel from his job to church to his Woodbridge care home. It is his freedom.

He takes another drag from his cigarette as he watches the cars pull in and drivers step out. They look up at Jeff, the 62-year-old newspaper delivery man.

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5 comments:

  • Bob Bechill posted at 12:16 pm on Mon, Jul 18, 2011.

    Bob Bechill Posts: 41

    This was a wonderful story. Great job Lauren. I often pass Mr. Kooyman on my morning walks to Tillies and downtown. He's a Lodi fixture, and I'm glad I now know more about him.

     
  • Tim Costner posted at 11:42 pm on Sat, Jul 16, 2011.

    Tim Costner Posts: 10

    Good story.

     
  • Nancy Cadena posted at 5:43 pm on Sat, Jul 16, 2011.

    Nancy Cadena Posts: 1

    I grew up down the street from Jeff and I remember the airplane rides he gave me. Swinging me high above his head, I touched the trees!

     
  • Wanda Easley posted at 1:28 pm on Sat, Jul 16, 2011.

    Wanda Easley Posts: 1

    The best paper carrier ever!!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:06 am on Sat, Jul 16, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I have listened to Jeff play piano at St Anne's. I too have sat in the row behind the piano to watch and listen to him play. It is pleasant music to my ears.
    I have always felt you can touch someone's soul through music. Jeff has touched many and has made the world a better place. Thank you Jeff!

     
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