John Lewis Kopchik, 87, of (North) Philipsburg died at Windy Hill Village on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, peacefully surrounded by family and friends.
He was born April 11, 1927, in Philipsburg, a son of the late Andrew and Mary (Hydock) Kopchik. He graduated from the Philipsburg High School in 1945. On Oct. 28, 1950, in Winburne, he wed Marcella Marie Kopchik, his wife of 64 years, and who died Aug. 18, 2014.
Mr. Kopchik was a life-long member of Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where he spent many years as a lector and as a part of their vocal choir. He also was a member of the First Catholic Slovak Union, Branch No. 456, of Hawk Run.
He served in the U.S. Army as a baker from 1945 to 1947, immediately following World War II.
Mr. Kopchik worked as a mover from 1948 to 1950 with Merle Stockley’s Moving Company. He was also employed for a period of time with Johnny Rice, paving highways in central Pennsylvania.
Beginning in 1954, he spent the next 28 years working in various roles, including assistant manager at the local Acme Market. When Acme closed its store in Philipsburg, he went to work at Penn State University, as a custodian in multiple campus buildings until he retired in 1992.
Among his hobbies were hunting, organic gardening of both vegetables and flowers, bee-keeping for a number of years with his wife and volunteering with his wife at the former Philipsburg Area Hospital, where they initially met while she was in nurse’s training.
Mr. Kopchik was a self-taught beekeeper and attended classes with his wife, Marcella, along with the “3C’s and a B Club” (Centre, Clearfield, Cambria and Bedford counties). He loved people and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
He is survived by four children, John M. Kopchik and his wife, Joanne of Cowpens, SC, Gerard Kopchik of Winter Garden, Fla., Mary (Kopchik) Easton of Maple Valley, Wash., and Annette Gill and her husband, Tom of Riverside, Calif.
He is survived by one brother-in-law, John M. Deliman and his wife, Delores of Chester Hill and a sister-in-law, Rosemary Deliman of Philipsburg.
He is survived by five grandchildren, John A. Kopchik and his wife, Andrea of Elliottsburg, Danielle (Kopchik) Powell and her husband, Vince of Houtzdale, Karuna McMurtry of Wasilla, Alaska, Dolma Maria Halstead of Seattle, Wash., and Carmichael Halstead of Maple Valley, Wash., and three step-grandchildren, Curt of Canton, Mich., Kevin of Commerce Township, Mich., and Angela (Angie), of Fort Wayne, Ind..
He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Courtney, Harley, Ashlyn, Chase, Christopher, Justin and Makayla; six step-great-grandchildren, Tommie, Jacob, Braden, Lilly, Carter and Mia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Kopchik was preceded in death by three brothers, George, Joseph and Andrew; one sister, Anna; and a son, Michael A. Kopchik, whom served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam and whom died at age 50. Mr. Kopchik is the last member of his immediate generation.
Friends will be received from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday at the Beezer-Heath Funeral Home, 719 E. Spruce St., Philipsburg. The Rosary will be recited by the Ss. Peter & Paul Rosary Society at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Hawk Run, with the Rev. Joseph Staszewski as celebrant.
Burial will be at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Cemetery, Hawk Run. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences for the family may be submitted at www.beezerheathfh.com.