Murphy Funeral Homes

1102 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA


John Thomas Kopeck

July 14, 1929October 19, 2019

John Thomas Kopeck passed away on Saturday, October 19th. John was born on July 14, 1929 in Baltimore, MD as the tenth of eleven children. While he was young, he worked hard to help support the family during the recovery from the Great Depression. During World War II, three of John’s brothers served in the military overseas. Although John was too young to join them in military service during the war, his heart and prayers were always with them. He would ease the hardships on his mom by saving a little extra money from his paycheck to take her to the movies every week as a way to distract her and bring her a little joy. One of his first jobs was working as a copy boy for the Associated Press. After high school, he served in the Air Force and was stationed in Saudia Arabia during the Korean War. John then attended and graduated from George Washington University, and began his career in the newspaper business. As Night City Editor of the Washington Evening Star, he met and married the love of his life, Carol Utz. Together they raised six children in their home in McLean, Virginia. During those happy years, John worked at various notable magazines, one of which was Aviation Week and Space Technology, where he covered the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. He continued on to work at U.S. News and World Report. He later went on to work as a Public Affairs Officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he retired to spend his golden years with his beloved wife. Together they delighted over the expansion of their family with the birth of their grandchildren. To his great sorrow, John’s wife passed in 2013, but after her passing he was blessed with the additions of great grandchildren who brought him much joy and laughter.

John was a wonderful story-teller and conversationalist with an infectious laugh. These traits livened the family dinner table every night. Spending time together as a family was most important to him. As he coached his sons’ baseball team, he brought the rest of his family to watch the games and cheer on the team. He made a point to choose vacation rentals that did not come with a tv, in order to spend that time playing card games, using his telescope to show his family the beautiful stars and planets, teaching them how to crab and fish, and most importantly, fostering a strong family bond. At home, he enjoyed sharing his love of classic movies, including The Sound of Music, John Wayne and Laurel & Hardy movies, and of course his favorite, the original 1939 production of The Four Feathers. John was an avid Baltimore Orioles fan, and reveled in watching football, including the Washington Redskins and Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish.

John lived his life always giving of himself, and taking care of others. He was a loving and devoted husband and father, and a good and faithful servant of God. He taught his children how to pray the rosary, and ensured that it was prayed together as a family every night. He had a very strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Peregrine, the Divine Mercy, and his Guardian Angel. John faithfully prayed for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and those battling cancer every day.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Joan Kopeck, and is survived by his children; Christopher (Michelle) Kopeck, Alexander (Ashlea) Kopeck, Joseph Kopeck, Carol (Timothy) Herter, Mary Kopeck, and Stephen (Shannon O’Connor) Kopeck, his grandchildren; Christian (Lindsey), Maggie (Micheal), Luke, Monica, Edmund, Claudia, Martin, Jude, Gemma, Marybella, Alex Jr., Gabe, Rose, Mary, Nick, Jack, Camilla, Thomas, Rebecca (Archer), Matthew (Olivia), Jonathan, Christina, Emily, Lilly, Brian, Lexie, Brody, and Finley, his great-grandchildren; Isabel, Benedict, Daniel, Damian, and Asher, his sister; Alexandra Kopeck, and his sisters-in-law, Jean (Donald) Nichols, Janet, and Sue Utz. John Kopeck will be so very dearly missed, please pray always for his soul.


  • visitation Monday, November 4, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, November 5, 2019
  • Burial Tuesday, November 5, 2019

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