August 4 – Happy Birthday Edward Kopik

kopikThe next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself for whatever reason, you might want to think about the life of former Amsterdam resident Edward Kopik, Jr. Today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant  wasn’t born in the Rug City. He was instead a native of Herkimer. His Dad, Edward Kopik Sr. was a US Army Veteran of WWII who had married Amsterdam native Edna Zupkivic in July of 1946. The new Mrs. Kopik had also served her country in WWII as a member of the Women’s Army Corp. After their honeymoon, the couple resided in Herkimer, where Ed Sr. was employed at the Remington Arms plant in nearby Ilion, NY. Edward Jr. was their first born on August 4, 1948. They then had a daughter they named Linda.

Just after Christmas in 1956, Edward Kopik Sr. died suddenly at the age of 48. With no other relatives in Herkimer, Edna took her two children and returned to Amsterdam, where young Edward attended St. Joseph’s School and then Wilbur Lynch High School. The now fatherless boy got involved in scouting for a while but I could not find evidence that he was involved in sports, music or drama activities during his early years. It looks as if he enlisted in the US Marine Corps just a week after he turned 18 years of age, on August 11, 1964, without first graduating from Lynch. Perhaps he was determined to follow his parents example by serving his country during wartime…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam hero in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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