Raphael Leonard CopaOctober 19, 1939 ~ June 20, 2017 (age 77)
Raphael L. “Ray” Copa passed from this life at his home on June 20, 2017, after a fourteen year battle with renal cell carcinoma.
Ray was born on October 19, 1939 in Little Falls, MN. After high school graduation he became a proud member of the U. S. Marine Corp serving in Okinawa and California. He worked in construction after discharge until attending Anoka TEC and graduating as a toolmaker. He was employed at Medtronic for 27 years and was a group leader in the Tool Shop.
Ray and Karen Johnson were married in Wadena, MN in 1963 and raised their four children in Coon Rapids, MN. He was an avid year around sportsman who loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and sport shooting. He helped organize the Medtronic fishing club and was active in sport leagues: softball, basketball, bowling and running. He was an ardent Twins and Vikings fan. His competitive nature made him a formidable card player and he shared that talent with many friends and especially his grandchildren.
Ray had a wonderful sense of humor and a quirky laugh that all who knew him enjoyed. He was a man of great faith, integrity and was fiercely loyal to family and friends. His quiet strength sustained him during his illness and he was an inspiration to many.
Ray and Karen retired in 1997 and relocated to their Leech Lake home. He used his multiple skills and spent three years remodeling their residence. He was an active member of the Northstar Sportsman’s Club in Walker and St. Theodore's Catholic Church in Laporte. He was a member of the St. Mother Teresa Knights of Columbus.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, William and Hattie Copa, two brothers, Tommy and Mark, two sisters, Mary Ann Pennebecker and Rita Schuur and grandson, Raphael James (RJ) Copa.
He has several past pet dogs waiting for his arrival so they can shower him with affection.
Ray is survived by his wife, Karen, three sons, Donn (Fabien), Port Jervis, NY, Tom(Molly), Austin, TX , Tony(Vince), Philadelphia, PA, one daughter, Jacquelyn (Todd) Carter, Minneapolis, MN, nine grandchildren: Charlie, Sam, Will, Mary Grace and Lucy Copa, Luis Tomassini and Isabella, Christian and Vivian Carter, brother John and wife, Marge, Little Falls, MN, sister-in-law Ruth Copa, Chester, VA, several cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends.
Mass of Christian Burial for Ray will be Tuesday June 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation 1 hour prior all being held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Little Falls, Minnesota. Pallbearers for Ray will be Joseph Schuur, Mark Copa, Charlie Copa, Mary Grace Copa, Will Copa, Jeff Copa, and Chris Johnson. Honorary Pallbearers are Dick Sandstrom, Ed Hiber, LeRoy Ditsch, Jim Sikorski, Dick Holm, Jim Dean, George Jurgenson, Jerry Amundson, Rod Amundson and Hank Conrad. Father Joe Herzing will Officiate. Inurnment will be in Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery, Little Falls, Minnesota Wednesday June 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to one of the following charities:
Children's Minnesota https://giving.childrensmn.org/give
Semper Fi Fund https://semperfifund.org/donate/
Ray’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com