Claudio Coppola(1995 - 2012)

Claudio F. Coppola

Hyde Park - Claudio F. 'Clyde' Coppola, 16, a lifelong Hyde Park resident, died unexpectedly on Friday, November 9, 2012 at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

Born in Poughkeepsie on December 17, 1995, he was the son of Luigi and Lisa Bajcar Coppola of Hyde Park.

He was a graduate of Holy Trinity Parochial School in Poughkeepsie, where he was an altar server, a class leader, a member of the honor band and once played Jesus in the church's live Stations of the Cross. While at Holy Trinity Claudio was an avid soccer player impressing his coach, Mike Tomeseski, and fellow teammate's parents with his compassion and ability to make others play better. He also played baseball and took karate while at Holy Trinity. He was a school leader with other students often coming to him for counseling.

Claudio was always strong in his convictions, and he was once referred to as "Claudio the Passionate" by his preschool teacher.

A junior at F. D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, Claudio was an honors student who played for the high school's lacrosse team, cross country team, and crew team. Most recently, Claudio was active in helping his class build their homecoming day float and was looking forward to being a member of the swim team this coming winter.

Claudio worked with his family at Coppola's Restaurant in Hyde Park, often working with his parents doing concession work at various events. Claudio was also a staff recruiter with many friends seeking him out looking for work.

He loved music, and taught himself how to play the guitar, and read and write music. Many an evening was spent with him playing his guitars in the basement often till late at night. He enjoyed working in ceramics class and was adored by his teacher Mrs. Gross.

Claudio and his brother, Marcanthony, were inseparable and did many things together. They shared the same "brotherhood' of friends. He planned on applying to the College of St. Rose to study music; the same college his older brother attends. He was part of a group of close friends known as the "Wolf Pack". Claudio was always there for his friends; he was commonly their group "counselor", always lending an ear to a friend in need.

Claudio's various teachers and especially his guidance counselor, Marilyn Domenech-Rodriguez, were passionate in their love and respect for Claudio often going out of their way to help him and protect him. Teachers at FDR often referred to him as "M-Rod's boy" and often went to her office when they wondered where he was.

Claudio was known for his deep blue eyes and his full red lips which all his female friends admired.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his two brothers, Marcanthony and Geno; and sister, Clara, all at home; paternal grandparents, Antonio and Frances Coppola of Hyde Park; maternal grandparents, George and Karen Bajcar of Pompano Beach, FL; uncles, Nick Coppola and wife, Julie, of Hyde Park, John Coppola and wife, Judy, of Hyde Park, Anthony Coppola and wife, Elizabeth, of Hyde Park, Vinny Coppola of Salt Point, Brian Bajcar and wife, Michelle of Amenia, Scott Bajcar and wife, Robin, of Wappingers Falls, and Shane Bajcar of Hyde Park; cousins, Christopher, Francesca, Giancarlo, Michael, Dominic, Anna, Anthony Jr., and Jack Coppola, and Justin, Cody, Kara, Kasey, Zachary, Seth, and Joshua Bajcar.

He is also survived by many great aunts and uncles and extended family, and many, many friends, who meant the world to him.

An animal lover, Claudio loved his hamster, Wendy; two dogs, Ralphie and Fredo; cat, Sophie; and "Wolf Pack" mascot, Clyde Frog.

Special thanks to Sister Mary James ("Aunt Mary") and the staff of St. Francis Hospital for their compassionate care during such a trying time. Their care and hard work were truly appreciated.

Calling hours will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm, Tuesday, November 13th at Regina Coeli Church, Rte. 9, Hyde Park.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am, Wednesday, November 14th at Regina Coeli Church.

Burial will follow in the family plot in St. Peter's Cemetery, Poughkeepsie.

Memorial donations in Claudio's name may be made to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Rd., 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ 08540, please refer to their web site

To send a condolence or for directions, please visit

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14, 2012