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Thomas W. Kopp

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KOPP, Thomas W. Thomas W. Kopp, husband, father, grandfather, friend, athlete, coach, and college administrator, died Saturday, (November 10, 2007) following a boating accident en route to the island that he loved. He was 69. Tom found joy in many simple things in life: from the solitude of his family's Chute Island retreat and the companionship of family and friends, to working with his hands, and, through the years, playing friendly pranks. His gestures of generosity touched countless people. Whether he was sending personalized cards to colleagues and family or anonymously shoveling snow off steps of friends, he had a unique way of showing people he cared. Born in 1938 in Waterbury, the fifth of six children, Tom was proud of his upbringing. He graduated from Naugatuck High School, where he was a standout varsity athlete in football, basketball, and, most notably, baseball. Tom went on to play for the University of Connecticut, where he was an All-Yankee Conference catcher and helped the Huskies to the 1959 College World Series. In college Tom met his future wife, Melinda "Mimi" Brown and earned a B.A. and an M.A. Tom and Mimi were married in 1961 and raised four children together. He was a devoted husband and best friend. After playing for two years in the Minnesota Twins organization, Tom became a teacher and coach of football and baseball at Avon High School, then a coach at Dartmouth College, helping both teams to win championship titles. In 1978 Tom became an assistant football coach at Colby. Always willing to take on any task, Tom quickly climbed the ranks at Colby. He became head football coach, and, in 1983, joined the admissions office. At the time of his death he was Senior Associate Dean of Admissions, where he is remembered for his sense of humor, inexhaustible energy, strong work ethic, and his eagerness to act as a mentor to junior colleagues. Tom particularly enjoyed meeting and interacting with the young people at Colby, and he stayed in touch with many after they graduated. A dedicated and involved father, Tom demonstrated to his children his values of honesty, integrity and concern for others. He always made himself available to help others, worked tirelessly to make people feel welcome, and consistently took the time to do things that showed people he cared. Tom is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mimi Brown Kopp; son, Michael Kopp of Portsmouth, R.I.; son, Blaine Kopp and his wife, Beth, of Hallowell; daughter, Deige McLaughlin and her husband, Tom of Summit, NJ; daughter, Jessica McGrath and her husband Kevin of Fairfield; 14 grandchildren: Avery, Alex, Andrew, Austin, Noah, Eben, Indigo, Finnegan, Carson, Tyler, Spencer, Daly, Sophie, and Jack; sister, Anne Scranton and husband Bill, of West Falmouth, MA; sister, Sally Murray of Derby;, sister-in-law Betty Kopp, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Mildred Kuhn Kopp and Warren Thomas Kopp; brothers, Joseph and John Kopp; sister, Ruth Kopp Legenza; and brother-in-law Ray Legenza. A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 16, at 11 a.m. in Lorimer Chapel on the Colby campus in Waterville. A reception will follow in the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center. In honor of Tom's love for the lakes and outdoors, and his dedication towards aiding underprivileged kids, in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: Tom Kopp Campership Fund, c/o Ken Walsh, Alfond Youth Center, 126 North St., Waterville, ME 04901. Arrangements are with the Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville, ME 04901.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Nov. 14, 2007
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