Josephine “Jozefa” Kopchian, 94, of Indian Shores, FL and formerly of Carbondale, died Friday February 21st at Pinellas Park Hospice, Pinellas Park, FL. She was the widow of William Kopchian, who died in 1988.
Born in Galicia, Poland, daughter of the late Gregory and Julia Jaworska Lechki, she was a former member of Saint Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale. Josephine attended Polish schools in Galicia until the start of World War II. Upon the invasion of the Nazis, the family was separated, with Josephine not knowing the whereabouts of the rest of her family. She survived under the Communist rule of Stalin, until she was able to flee to America in May of 1961 with her 4 children and her husband William. Josephine and her family settled in Carbondale, where she was very proud to become an American citizen, a freedom she never experienced under Communist rule. It was not until the 1970’s that the Red Cross was able to locate all of Josephine’s family and reunite them in a family reunion at the family’s old homestead in Poland. Unfortunately, Josephine’s parents had already passed away, never knowing their children’s’ whereabouts or whether they survived the war. Upon settling in Carbondale, they welcomed their 5th child Theresa. Josephine was employed as a seamstress in the local garment industry, working for the Children’s Dress Company, Ms. Mary Fashions, and the Cassaro Dress Factory, all of Carbondale. She was a member of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.
Surviving are her children: Janice Slahetka and husband Donald, whom she called her “Donald Trump”, of Indian Shores, FL, with whom she resided at the beach; Helen White and husband Daniel, Womelsdorf; Stanley Kopchian and wife Kristine, Cleveland, OH; and Theresa Laguzzi, Carbondale; 12 grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; a brother: Bronislaw Lechkyj, Sydney, Australia; and several nieces and nephews.
She was also preceded in death by a daughter: Czeslawa “Jessica” Kawash; three brothers: Frank, Stefan, and Stanley Lehkyj; two sisters: Aniela Letka and Maria Plebanska.
The funeral will be Wednesday, March 4th from the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc. 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 am in Saint Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale. Interment will follow in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery, Scott Twp. Friends may call Tuesday, from 4 to 7 pm.
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