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Frank Mathew Kopec

November 20, 1948 May 2, 2019
Frank  Mathew  Kopec
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Obituary for Frank Mathew Kopec

FRANK M. KOPEC, 70, passed away at home in Kasilof, Alaska on May 2 after a brief battle with cancer. Born in New York City, NY in 1948 to Catherine and Frank Kopec, he grew up in Lake Neapaulin (Sussex, NJ). Frank was a 1966 graduate of Sussex High School, where he met his future wife, Elaine Klecha.

Frank was drafted to the army in 1968 and served in the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division, from May of 1968 to December of 1969 in Vietnam. He attained the rank of Sergeant and was decorated with a number of commendations including two Bronze Stars, a National Defense Service Metal, a Vietnam Service Metal, a Vietnam Campaign Metal, an Army Commendation Metal, and a Purple Heart. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 10221 as well as the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 0914.

A skilled tradesman and custom home builder, Frank founded Kopec Plumbing and Heating and Woodland Builders in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In his spare time, he served as a volunteer with the Pochuck Valley Fire Department and was a gifted athlete who played with several local ball teams. Like so many others, a short vacation to Alaska inspired Frank to relocate north and, in 1997, he began the adventure of moving across the country.

Frank enjoyed spending time in the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fishermen. He loved his family to no end and was a solid friend to many. He was a generous man with a heart of gold and will never be forgotten by those who knew him best.

Frank was proceeded in death by his parents, Catherine and Frank Kopec Sr. and his father-in-law, Joseph Klecha. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Elaine Kopec (Klecha), his children- Stacey Degroat and husband Sam of Beaufort, SC, Dustin Kopec and wife Daniela of Soldotna, AK, and Mathew Kopec and wife Meagan of Kasilof, AK. Frank had six grandchildren, Sam and Gunnar Degroat, Macen and Kaden Kopec, and Brayden and Maya Kopec. Frank is also survived by his brothers John and wife Patricia Kopec of Sussex, NJ, Daniel and wife MaryKathryn Kopec of Chester, NJ, and Mother-in-law Catherine Klecha of Sussex, NJ.

The family will hold a celebration of life at a future date and asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Frank's name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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