Chris A. Koppenhafer, age 100, passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at University Hospital in Elyria.
Chris was born in Elyria on July 12, 1922 to Chris A. and Elsie (nee Winkler) Koppenhafer. Three years later his family moved to Lorain in 1925. After graduating from Lorain High School with the class of 1940 B, he worked one year at Lorain Works US Steel before enrolling and attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. During his second year of college, Pearl Harbor was attacked, so Chris went to Cleveland and enlisted in the US Navy. Chris was called to active duty in August of 1943, spending three years at several different navel schools and bases. After his release, he returned to Miami University, graduated with a master’s degree and started his civilian career in education. In 1950 he voluntarily returned to active duty in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was sent first to Great Lakes, Illinois and then was attached to the US Marine Corps. After four years he was again released to inactive duty and returned to Lorain and accepted a teaching position in the junior high schools and later promoted to an administrative position. During that time, he coached at Longfellow and Whittier and was the first faculty manager of athletics at Admiral King High School and became an administrator in the school system in 1963. After 12 years in the Lorain City School System, Chris left Lorain and ended up in Berea and Middleburg Heights where in 1970 he was very involved and instrumental in the promotion, planning, construction and operation of the Polaris Vocational Center. With the opening of the center in 1975, Chris was installed as Director (Principle) and retained that position until he retiring in 1979.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church in Lorain.
Chris loved the US Navy and Miami University in Oxford. He enjoyed sports, stamp collecting and traveling. Chris and Nancy traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, the Mediterranean area, the Baltic Sea area and spent a good deal of time in much of Europe both by land and river boat.
Chris is survived by his true love, Nancy (nee Pawlosky) who together spent 50 wonderful years; a daughter, four grandchildren, three great grandchildren, niece, and several cousins in the United States and Germany.
Besides his father passing in 1930, and mother in 1987, Chris was also preceded in death by his brother, Richard in 1953, and daughter, Katherine in 2011.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of funeral services at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church, 1019 W. 5th Street in Lorain. Rev. Donald Frantz will officiate. Military funeral honors, committal service and burial will follow in Brownhelm Cemetery, Vermilion.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Chris’s name can be made to First Lutheran Church, 1019 W. 5th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052.
The Dovin Funeral and Cremation Specialists, 2701 Elyria Avenue in Lorain is handling the arrangements.