Longtime Massapequa resident Thomas Joseph Kopp, a World War II veteran, hunter, Alaskan gold miner and cross-country traveler, has died at 95.
“He was a playful guy who loved people and partying, and believed in overtipping,” his son, Thomas John Kopp of Moscow, Idaho, said.
He had a 22-foot cabin cruiser he used to take out on the Great South Bay, doing a little fishing and a lot of cruising, his son said.
“He was mostly a traveler. He had a conversion van and drove to Alaska several times,” his son said. “In his early years he was a hunter — not very successful. I think he just liked to walk in the woods.”
The elder Kopp died Tuesday at Sunrise Senior Living in East Meadow, where he had lived for the past three years.
Kopp was born in Maspeth, Queens, on Dec. 29, 1920, and went to local schools. He joined the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific.
He wrote a proposal letter home to his girlfriend, Mae Rogers of Maspeth. They married after the war and moved to Freeport and then Massapequa in 1952.
She died during surgery about 20 years later. He married Susan Smith of Valley Stream about three years after that, and she died about 1995.
After the war, he had mined for gold in Alaska with his late brother, Walter, and then worked for an electrical product company. He later went to work at the New York Mirror and the New York Daily News, making plates for the printing presses. He retired from the Daily News in 1993.
He is also survived by his daughter, Maryann Zimmerman of Farmingdale, an editorial assistant at Newsday; sisters Mary Darwell of North Bellmore and Martha Bryant of Babylon and his girlfriend of several years, Muriel Stapleton of Lido Beach.
The family will receive visitors at the Massapequa Funeral Home at 4980 Merrick Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
There will be a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Rose of Lima Church at 2 Bayview Ave. in Massapequa. Burial will follow at Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn.