Max Vilas Kopchinski, 84, Stevens Point, a longtime area music teacher and member of the Stevens Point City Band, died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 at his home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Polonia, with the Rev. Marcin Mankowski officiating.
Visitation will be at Shuda Funeral Chapel in Stevens Point from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and at the church from 10 a.m. Thursday until the Mass. A Bible vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral chapel.
Memorials will be established in his name for Ministry Home Care-Hospice Services and the Lincoln Center. Memorials can be sent to the attention of Jim Kopchinski, W7813 County Road W, Beldenville, WI 54003.
Condolences may be offered online at www.shudafuneral.com.
Mr. Kopchinski was born Aug. 11, 1927, in Ellis, a son of the late Max and Rose (Platta) Kopchinski. He attended elementary school in Ellis and graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point in 1944. He received a degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee) and in music education from Central State Teacher’s College in Stevens Point (now the UW-Stevens Point).
He was married to Lorraine Fossman on Aug. 14, 1949. She preceded him in death.
He was married to Joyce Gilligan on June 20, 2009.
He was a music teacher for his entire career. He practice-taught at Rosholt High School and P.J. Jacobs High School, before being hired as a music and typing teacher at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point. While teaching at Pacelli, he also gave private music lessons, both at his home and at an office associated with Graham-Lane Music Store. In addition he was able to develop a grade school band composed of students from the various grade schools in Stevens Point. In 1964, having left Pacelli, he turned his career entirely to private music lessons, from which he retired in 2007 at the age of 80.
Over the years, he was a member of several dance bands, beginning in high school and continuing until just recently. He was a member of the Stevens Point City Band for 60 years, serving as president for 25 years. He was a member of the Stevens Point Barbershoppers (Northern Gateway Chorus) for 47 years, serving as photographer and historian for much of the time, and was named Barbershopper of the Year three times, the last being in 2011.
He was a member of several other organizations in which he served as photographer and historian, including the Holy Name Society at Sacred Heart Church in Polonia, the Knights of Columbus, the Stevens Point Area Music Teachers Association and the Stevens Point Retired Teachers Association. At the Lincoln Center in Stevens Point he provided telecare service for the elderly and Friday lunch-time entertainment on the piano.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce Gilligan; four sons, Jim (Bonney), Larry (Cathy), Jerome (Joyce) and Bruce; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.