Max Vilas Kopchinski, 84, of Stevens Point, died January 15, 2012 at the home he shared with his wife Joyce Gilligan.
Max was born August 11, 1927 to Max and Rose (Platta) Kopchinski at their home near Ellis. He attended elementary school in Ellis and P.J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, from which he graduated in 1944. He went on to obtain a degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and in Music Education from Central State Teacher's College in Stevens Point (now UWSP). While in Milwaukee, he met Lorraine Fossman, to whom he was married on August 14, 1949.
Max had a life-long career as a music teacher. 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 hs career entirely to private music lessons, from which he retired in 2007 at the age of 80.
Over the years, Max 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 3 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.
Max was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife Lorraine. He is survived by his wife Joyce Gilligan, to whom he was married on June 20, 2009, his sons Jim (Bonney), Larry (Cathy), Jerome (Joyce) and Bruce, and by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A mass of christian burial for Max will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Polonia on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM. Rev. Marcin Mankowski will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 pm Wednesday at Shuda Funeral Chapel in Stevens Point, and again from 10:00 AM until the time of service Thursday at the church. A bible vigil will be prayed at 6:30 PM on Wednesday at the funeral chapel.
In lieu of flowers, 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 Rd W, Beldenville, WI 54003.
The family would like to thank the staff of Ministry Home Care and the Oncology/Radiology staff at St. Michaels Hospital for their loving support during the time of his final illness.
Online condolences can be made by visiting www.shudafuneral.com Shuda Funeral Chapel 3200 Stanley St.