Richard Joseph Kopec, 91, passed away peacefully on December 2, 2019.
He was born and raised in Passaic and Wallington, NJ. He received his PHD in Geography from Wayne State University and went on to become a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a member of Mensa and was former Chairperson for The NC Geographical Society. He met his lifelong love, Pauline, while at Shippensburg University and they have been married for over 67 years. They made Chapel Hill, NC their home where they raised 3 children.
Richard is survived by his loving wife Pauline, 2 children Pamela Grimball of Chapel Hill and Douglas Kopec of Chapel Hill; daughter-in-law, Barbara Campbell, 4 grandchildren Rafe, Garth, Dillon, Mackenzie and 1 great grandson Caden. He was predeceased in death by his son, Geoffrey Kopec.
Richard was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and will always be remembered as a true gentleman and a loving husband. Outside of his family, Richard loved spending time at his home and sailing. He and Pauline
frequently sailed the waters off the Carolina coast and the Chesapeake Bay on their sailboat, the Absaroka. They rarely did anything that they could not do together. He was Captain of the football and baseball team in college and
later was a fierce competitor on the tennis courts at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club. Richard leaves a legacy of integrity, honesty and generosity. He is loved and will be greatly missed by all.
Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is caring for the Kopec family.
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