Heinrich “Henry” Kopka


Heinrich “Henry” Kopka, 85, of Waite Park, MN (formerly of Staples, MN) passed peacefully into the next life November 28, 2020 at home surrounded by family.

Henry was born on July 11, 1935 in Willenberg, East Prussia, Germany to Gustav and Marie (Lipka) Kopka. He attended primary school in Willenberg and Kirchdorf, Germany. Henry, along with his parents and siblings, immigrated to the United States in 1952. He graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 1955. He then attended Augsburg College (Minneapolis) and graduated with a teaching degree in math, German and history in 1959. He began his teaching career in Fertile High School before working as a missionary teacher in Papua New Guinea for two and a half years. He then taught in Staples for 31 years before retiring in 1997.

Henry was united in marriage to Judith “Judy” Leinonen on June 5, 1971 in French Lake, MN. Together they enjoyed being outside, gardening and watching birds. They loved listening to music, traveling; and cherished time with family.

Henry was a quiet man of faith. He was humble and gracious; and modeled integrity, generosity, and patience to all.

Henry is survived by his wife, Judy; his three children, Becky, Jon (Patsy), Nathan (Brianna); 5 grandchildren; his siblings, Gustav, Mia Reepschlager and Ruth Kopka; and many other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Wilhelm and his sister, Anna Marie Kopka.

Memorials in his honor can be sent to Abounding Joy Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN or American Bible Society.

The family will hold a private ceremony and hold a celebration of life at a future date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in St. Cloud.

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