Woodbury High School sweethearts focus on faith, family and community.
When high school sweethearts Abbey and Justin Feldkamp graduated from Woodbury High School (WHS) in 2003, they had big dreams. But those dreams weren’t moving to a big coastal city or traveling the world. Instead, the couple dreamt of building their life together in Woodbury and raising a family in the community that raised them.
The Feldkamp’s story began in the early 1990s when they were classmates in the same kindergarten class. They eventually started dating when they were freshmen in high school, ventured to separate colleges and got married in 2008. The pair then returned to Woodbury—though are now based in Hastings—and have since emerged in their adult lives as loving parents, active community members, an accomplished baseball coach and an award-winning author of a self-published children’s book.
“This isn’t a stepping stone for us, it’s an investment. A commitment,” Abbey says of the couple’s life and time spent in Woodbury. “We love this community to our core; it is part of us just as much as we are part of it.”
While the community is making its impression on the Feldkamps, they are the ones making an impression on others. Friends and family who are intertwined in the couple’s social circles didn’t hold back praising their beloved friends.
“They are a couple I aspire to be with my husband, Jamie,” says Tammy Bradley, neighbor and close friend of the Feldkamps. “They are kind and loving to each other. They treat everyone with respect, they are the most giving and selfless couple I know.”
“I just think their kindness, caring, compassionate, positive energy is a role model to all that come in contact with them,” says Kevin McDermott, head coach of the WHS baseball team. “They are very genuine, easygoing, positive people and they enjoy each other and everything this life has to offer.”
Elise Johnson, a neighbor of the Feldkamps, recently gave birth to twins, but still prioritized taking time to describe her friends, illustrating the impact they have on others.
“Abbey and Justin are the type of people that immediately make you feel comfortable and welcome,” Johnson says. “The first time I met Abbey, she brought me a bouquet from her garden. She is so kind, and creative, with old fashioned values. Justin is so helpful and inspiring. He coaches baseball, but inspires people to do their best. Their love and commitment to each other is inspiring. They are so kind and supportive of each other. Their love is based in faith and runs deep through their family and is shown in how they treat each other and their friends and family.”
Meet the Feldkamps
Abbey and Justin each wear several hats in the roles they play personally and professionally. They said the most important titles they have are mom and dad. The couple have three children: Lucy, 12, Tate, 9, and Margo, 6. Abbey spoke highly of her children, highlighting their unique personalities and many talents.
“We’re just getting into traveling sports,” she says with a laugh. “So, we’re very busy.”
Justin serves as an assistant coach of the WHS baseball team, the same team he played shortstop for as a teenager. Abbey commended her husband’s work ethic, noting how naturally humble he is as a person.
“I’m so proud of my husband,” she says. “You will never find him voluntarily talking about himself in any capacity.”
Others hold the same praise for Justin that Abbey has.
Mark Mazur had three sons go through the Woodbury baseball program. In fact, his youngest son, Adam Mazur, currently plays for the San Diego Padres. “I can’t speak high enough about the guy,” Mazur says of Justin. “There is something about the way he presents himself and how he treats kids with respect. When Justin coaches, he isn’t just coaching baseball, he coaches for life. He did that for my boys and had a huge influence on all of my sons, especially Adam.”
The Woodbury baseball program has three core values: family/togetherness, positive energy and grit—perseverance toward your long-term goals. McDermott says Justin not only teaches these values to athletes in the program, he lives them.
“That is such an important piece in being authentic to himself and our program,” McDermott says. “It is one thing to talk about [the values], but another thing to actually live them, and that is the goal for our coaches and our players. Justin embodies that each and every day. He builds such strong connections with our youth and our high school athletes, and those relationships continue beyond graduation of our players … Justin is the best in the business because he builds such strong, caring, trusting relationships in the younger years that kids want to continue to text, call and come back well beyond their high school years.”
The relationships formed through the program standout as a main reason Justin loves coaching.
“These guys are like sons to me or maybe even brothers,” he says. “Being able to keep in touch with them and follow their lives is really special to me. You hope you teach them a few things about how to succeed in life, and when you see it happening, it’s really fun to watch.”
While coaching takes up a lot of time on Justin’s schedule, he expressed admiration for his wife of nearly 15 years, noting she’s the glue of the Feldkamp family.
“She just runs our whole family,” Justin says. “She never stops, and there’s never a doubt everybody is going to be where they need to be and when they need to be there. She’s just amazing.”
As the self-published author of Wonderful, Marvelous, Magnificent You, Abbey describes herself as creative, highlighting her love of writing and spending time in her garden. “Anything that is creative is right up my alley,” she says. “That’s what keeps me going.”
The garden is where Abbey specializes in growing English roses and is also where she finds inspiration for writing.
“It’s beautiful, peaceful, and nobody follows me out to the garden because they don’t want to be put to work,” she says.
Keeping up with a busy lifestyle and a part-time job at a law firm, it’s a wonder Abbey finds time to manage it all. She casually attributes the success of the juggling act as simply following her dreams.
“I wear a lot of hats, but they all make me happy and they’re all creative,” she says. “When you have a passion for something, you find time to make it all work.”
That passion won Abbey the International Firebird Award for Best Children’s Board Book for her book, Wonderful, Marvelous, Magnificent You, which was just released in November of 2022.
“It’s an out-of-body experience,” Abbey says of winning an award for something so personal and special to her. “I wanted to write something that was really uplifting, really inclusive and really highlights how amazing kids are. Regardless of any circumstance, kids are just wonderful, and I wanted to showcase that.”
A Growing Commitment
When Justin isn’t coaching and Abbey isn’t working or transporting children from one activity to the next, the couple find time for socializing through neighborhood get-togethers on Friday nights, flag football in the backyard and pool parties in the summer. Their commitment to each other and the community continues to inspire and motivate those around them.
“We’re very much a family that serves and loves others,” Abbey says. “In this ever-changing, fast-paced world, we really want to focus on strengthening the one constant—family and community. Although it’s a daily grind, we’re so happy to be a part of it.”