Anchorage resident Michael Kopcha, 84, died April 4, 2007, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Monday, with a visitation 2:30 to 3 p.m., at Abbott Loop Community Church. The Rev. Rick Benjamin, along with his father, Dick Benjamin, will officiate. A graveside service at Angelus Memorial Park will be later in May.

Mike Kopcha was born May 19, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J., to Joseph and Anna Kopcha. He attended Lincoln High School where he was a state champion in track, competing in the hurdles.

In February 1945, Mike moved to Alaska to fulfill a one-year contract working for the Alaska Railroad as a locomotive engineer. He enjoyed Alaska so much he decided to stay and call Alaska home.

On one of his trips back home to visit his family, he met his future wife, Ruby Somick. They were married in September 1966 and returned to Alaska where they had one son. Mike retired in 1982 after 37 years of employment with the railroad.

Mike was an avid outdoorsman for many years, regularly hunting for moose and camping and fishing with his family. He began attending Abbott Loop Community Church in 1964 and has called Abbott Loop his church home ever since. He was an ordained elder in the church for nearly 20 years.

His family wrote: "Mike was a conversationalist who loved to discuss most any subject. He was also quick to tell one of his many jokes to anyone around him. Mike was a devoted father and husband. He was a faithful Christian, who ministered to many people. We will miss him dearly, but we plan to be together again in heaven."

Mike is survived by his wife, Ruby, and son, James.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Eva Goch.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Abbott Loop Community Church for missions work.

Arrangements are with Kehl's Forest Lawn Chapel.


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