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Mark Lawrence Kopplin, known to all as Kopps or Coach, took his final timeout on November 9, 2023, at 72 years of age. Born in Eau Claire, WI, on July 23, 1951, and passing away in Bangor, WI, Mark's life was a masterclass in enthusiasm, commitment, and a healthy dose of humor.
Starting with his early life, Mark was a proud graduate of Menomonee Falls High School in 1969. He then moved on to UW Eau Claire in 1969 before transferring to UW Oshkosh in 1970. There he majored in Science with minors in Geology and Geography, but the only rocks Mark was interested in were those brown, oblong rocks with laces that were used on the football field at both Universities.
Professionally, Mark was to the New Lisbon School District what Swiss Army knives are to camping trips - indispensable and multi-talented. From molding young minds as a 7th and 8th-grade Science teacher (don't ask him to explain the periodic table, he'd probably just make up some joke about it as this was his dad’s specialty) to coaching High School football, Jr. High basketball, and Jr. High wrestling, Mark did it all. He even served as a School Board Member and sat on the New Lisbon Athletic Complex Committee. However, to him, these were just elaborate excuses to hang around sports arenas and 'borrow' equipment for his children.
Speaking of sports, Mark was such a hardcore Badger, Brewer, and Packer fan that rumor has it he joked he’d be able to pay for his children’s schooling and weddings with his sports cards and memorabilia collection. This, for the record, never happened. His love for sports extended to reffing volleyball and basketball games. He also enjoyed going hunting, but he would often end up “checking his eyelids for holes” in his souped up Kopps Kabin stand.
Mark was a family man, though, above all else. His wife, Patti (Clary) Kopplin was his partner not just in life but was also the butt of many of his classroom jokes. His children, Kristen Kopplin, Katie Kopplin (Brian Olson), and Kirk Kopplin (Nicole) were often at the receiving end of his dad-jokes. His grandsons, Knox and Boone Kopplin, were the apples of his eye. His nephews Jason and Jerod Kopplin shared many hunting traditions and stories that were an integral part of the Kopplin name. He shared a special bond with his brother-in-law Joseph Clary (Barbara Nicksic) and had a wonderful relationship with his sister-in-law, Lana Kopplin. He is now cracking jokes, playing cards and sipping a gin and sour with his parents, Luther and Norma (Zank) Kopplin, brother Peter Kopplin, and in-laws Clark (Bum) and Germaine Clary, and James Clary, who preceded him in death.
To describe Mark in three words, one could say he was friendly, thoughtful, and spirited. He had a heart as big as his sense of humor, a spirit as lively as his laugh, and a personality that could brighten up even the gloomiest days.
Mark Lawrence Kopplin lived life to the fullest, always with a twinkle in his eye and a joke on his lips. He has undoubtedly left us with a void, but also with a lifetime of laughter and love filled memories. Here's to Mark, who taught us all that life is better when you're laughing.
“Death takes the body. God takes the soul. Our mind holds the memories. Our hearts keep the love. Our faith lets us know, we will meet again.” -unknown
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday November 15th from 3:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church (408 W. River St) in New Lisbon. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, November 16th, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church (408 W. River St) in New Lisbon. Relatives and friends are invited on Thursday to a visitation at the church from 9:30 A.M. until the time of service, The Hare Funeral Home in New Lisbon is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are available at www.harefuneralhome.com