Veronika D. Kopka

October 18, 1923June 13, 2021

Veronika “Verna” Drapko Kopka, 97, passed away peacefully in the company of her children on June 13, 2021. Since 1984 she resided in Beverly Hills, FL, where she had moved from New Castle, PA, with her adoring husband, Edmund “Eddie” Kopka. He died in 1995 at the age of 71. She was born on October 18, 1923, in Pittsburgh, PA. She grew up in New Castle with her younger sister, three older half brothers and loving parents, who had immigrated from Poland. Their family life was centered on the church and their ethnic culture, which were both greatly influenced by American democracy. She excelled in school and in a secretarial and bookkeeping career, but her passion was to share her bilingual talent through performing arts. Her singing particularly had blossomed in the church, school and community. Her rich voice attained an operatic style and she learned to play the piano, then the organ. She was an organist and choir leader in parishes throughout her life. She transitioned from a solo talent to an indomitable duet when she married in 1949. “Verna and Eddie” did everything together. Even when one was called to carry out an individual role, the other was always there in full support. Their motto was, “Leave everything better than you found it.” Throughout their marriage they were gregarious and worked tirelessly in numerous capacities on local, regional and national levels of the Polish National Catholic Church and its fraternal/financial organization, the Polish National Union of America. In both of those realms she was called upon to lead countless projects, groups, committees and conventions or was sent across states to give speeches. From the 50s to the 90s she proved to be what we now know is a 21st century woman. She also served as president for women’s organizations in Western PA and nationally for the PNC Church. Her greatest love and abilities shined as a daughter, mother and grandmother, especially as a selfless caregiver to loved ones who were gravely ill. It was tragic how dementia robbed her of so much the last 10 years. However, her life example will always remain to inspire her surviving family. They are her son, Anthony D. Kopka of Beverly Hills, FL, retiring Executive Director of Daystar Life Center; daughter and her full-time caregiver the past three years, Wanda A. Copple, retired teacher of 40 years, mostly in Citrus County middle and elementary schools, and her husband, Donald, of Citrus Springs, FL; grandchildren Kristen (Kopka) and her husband Sean Owens of Orange, CT; Stephanie (Copple) and her husband Steve Cox of Orlando, FL; Lauren (Kopka) and her husband Jason Nado of Westport, CT; and Michelle Copple of Orlando, FL; great grandchildren Conner and Cooper Owens, Brielle Cox and Jaxon Nado. A memorial service and burial will be held privately at the Fero Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Beverly Hills, FL. All expressions of sympathy have been greatly appreciated by the family. In memory of their mom and “Babci” and their love for her, they only ask that members of other families hold one another close with the same love.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, June 17, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, June 17, 2021


Veronika D. Kopka

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Father Tom Basta

June 15, 2021

Dear Anthony and Wanda, Carol and I are so saddened at this time. What wonderful memories we have when we ministered to your mom bringing her the Sacraments of the church. May Christ welcome your mom into His Heavenly Jerusalem and may The Holy Spirit, The Comforter be with your entire family. In loving compassion
Father Tom n Carol

Shirley Nocera (Potoczny)

June 14, 2021

Tosh and Wanda
My deepest sympathy in the loss of your mom. I can remember the good old days at church and the Spojnia club and also babysitting you two. Your mom was such a beautiful singer and organ player. I haven't seen her for years but that was a beautiful picture of her. God Bless all of you during this difficult time. You hate to see them go but to suffer with dementia is hard to watch your mom go thru.

Jane Decker

June 14, 2021

To my dear friend Wanda in your time of loss.
The love of a mother can never be replaced. Her caring nature and her warm spirit will live on in you always. Verna was a sweet, funny lady. I spent some time with her when I gave her perms and haircuts. She was always very friendly. I enjoyed her stories about the old days. I enjoyed her telling me about how she was raised and all about her Polish upbringing. She will definitely be missed by anyone who knew Her. Love Jane Decker