Fisherman was always looking for a good spot
A consummate fisherman, Stanislaus Czopek caught a 48-inch muskie and a 37-inch catfish, but he also hooked a shopping cart and a goose that chased his bait.
“He fished in Lake Erie, Moraine State Park, Pymatuning, anywhere there was a fishing hole,” said his daughter, Kathy Coleman, who went fishing with him as a child. “In the last few years, mainly the Ohio River. We ate a lot of bass, channel cats, perch.”
Stanislaus M. Czopek of Emsworth died Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, of cancer in his daughter's home in Zelienople in Butler County. He was 84.
His mother died when he was 5, and he grew up in Holy Family Orphanage in Emsworth.
At 15, he began a 43-year career at the Braun Baking Co. as a dough maker, although he served in the Navy from 1946-49.
It was at Braun that he met his wife, Lois. They were married 56 years until her death in 2004. His son Dennis recalled visiting the bakery as a child with his father.
“The large troughs that weighed a ton and a half, they had to push by hand,” said Dennis Czopek of Conway in Beaver County. Mr. Czopek sometimes baked bread and fried doughnuts for his family at home.
His favorite pastimes, though, were art and spending time outdoors. He used scrap lumber and 55-gallon drums to make a pontoon boat. He also built a sailboat and hydroplane.
“He put a five- or 10-horsepower motor on it, and those things would zip like crazy,” Coleman said.
Mr. Czopek was a self-taught artist and woodcarver. He painted works in oil and carved 6-inch pine or basswood caricatures of hockey and football players, hunters and fishermen.
“He'd do a fisherman casting a rod with a hook caught in his pants,” Coleman said.
Father and son worked on automobiles together. “We did a clutch on a 1951 Chevy,” Dennis Czopek said. “He was a good teacher. He'd show you the details of what needed to be done.”
In addition to his son, Dennis, and daughter, Kathy, Mr. Czopek is survived by six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife; son Timothy J. Czopek; and brothers William, John and Edward Czopek.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Orion C. Pinkerton Funeral Home, 1014 California Ave. in Avalon. A funeral service will take place in the funeral home at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.