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Frank Joseph Kopecky III


1942 - 2019
Frank Joseph Kopecky III Obituary
Frank Joseph Kopecky III 1942 - 2019
Springfield, IL—Frank Joseph Kopecky III died unexpectedly in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay on November 9, 2019.
Frank was born on September 29, 1942 in Berwyn, Illinois, the son of Frank and Ella Kopecky. In 1965 he married Linda Davidson in Collinsville.
Frank attended the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, earning a B.A. in 1964 and a J.D. in 1967. After a year in private practice in Oak Lawn, he was recruited to serve as the director of the Champaign County Legal Assistance Foundation, which provided legal aid to low-income citizens. In that capacity, he specialized in juvenile and welfare litigation and supervised students from the University of Illinois Law School.
In 1972, Frank and his young family moved to Springfield in order for him to serve as general counsel to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He served the Department as legislative liaison and helped draft the Child Abuse Act of 1975 and several revisions of the Juvenile Court Act.
Frank began teaching part-time at Sangamon State University in 1975. In 1977, he was hired full time to plan and develop the Legal Studies Program, which obtained status as an approved American Bar Association paralegal program.
Throughout his teaching career, he was involved in research, publication, youth advocacy, and law related education. From 1998 – 2000 he was the chair of the UIS Campus Senate, and the following year he chaired the Senate Conference for the U of I system.
After retiring in 2003, he continued his advocacy for children and families by working with the Voices for Illinois Children, the Juvenile Justice Initiative, and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois.
Frank was an active member of the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation. His childhood interest in the Civil War expanded into a lifelong study of American political and socioeconomic history. He had a passion for travel and traveled widely throughout the United States and internationally, visiting countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. He was en route to Antarctica at the time of his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Jim.
Frank was devoted to his family and savored time and conversation with his sons and their families. In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Frank (Julie), Christopher (Nanci), and Stephen Kopecky and six grandchildren: Elizabeth, Griffin, Katie, Jack, Dayna, and Caroline Kopecky.
Services will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 745 Woodside Road. Visitation will occur from 9:00 until 11:30 am, followed by a Celebration of Life Service and a lunch reception.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Frank and Linda Kopecky UIS Scholarship Fund or Lincoln Memorial Gardens.
Published in Print in The State Journal-Register from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2019
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