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Thomas Gregory Kopriva


Thomas Gregory Kopriva, 82, of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, passed away in the early hours of Nov. 10, 2022, at Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri. Tom was born in McCook, Nebraska, on June 3, 1940, to Paul and Julia Kopriva of Atwood, Kansas. He graduated from McDonald High School in McDonald, Kansas, in 1957. He joined the Navy in 1958; after his honorable discharge in 1962, he enrolled at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in business management and a minor in mathematics. He worked for JC Penney for nearly 30 years, then began a successful career as a realtor, from which he retired in 2005. He married Judy Goodman on April 20, 1968, and she survives.

Tom was the heart of a large extended family, including his mother, his sister, his brother, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild. Tom had just visited his mother in Atwood, Kansas, for her 105th birthday celebration, and while there, he spent time with his brother, Marty Kopriva (Marilyn), of Atwood, who survives him. He had two sisters, big sister Rita Irsik predeceased him, and his little sister Joanna Shormann, still lives in Montrose, Colorado. Tom and Judy were blessed with five daughters, all of whom live in Missouri: Noël Kopriva, Columbia; Kerri McLain (Todd), Springfield; Wendi McDowell (Chris), Lawson; Mary Barbieri, Springfield; and Anna Kopriva López (Alberto), Gladstone. Tom and Judy also had nine grandchildren: Lane McDowell (Peyton), Lawson; Braden McLain, Rolla; Sarah Holles (Marshall), Lawson; Maddie McLain, Springfield; Lily McDowell, Lawson; Jamie Mulvania, Columbia; Beto López Kopriva, Gladstone; Grayson Barbieri, Springfield; and David López Kopriva, Gladstone. They had one great-granddaughter, Livi Sue McDowell, of Lawson, and one grandson on the way.

Tom loved his family deeply, but above all, he loved Judy, to whom he was happily married for over 54 years. He was an extroverted introvert who loved staying home with Judy, praying the Rosary, tending his garden, feeding his birds, and cherishing his dogs even more. He enjoyed fixing Judy's breakfast every morning and praying with her each day. They went on many trips together and had just returned from a national parks vacation. Tom loved God and was a devout Catholic. He was a faithful member of St. Ann Catholic Church for forty-two years. Tom had a big personality and an even bigger heart. He was the kind of dad who would silently relieve a visiting daughter of her car keys to check the oil and tire pressure, then fill the gas tank. He loved taking his grandchildren fishing, going on trips all over Europe with Judy, and visiting his daughters in their homes (but he preferred when they came to him so he could cook in his own kitchen).

Tom was a devoted family man, and his family was, in turn, devoted to him. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered for his spontaneous laugh, his aphorisms ("shorten your showers," "gimme your keys," etc.), and his genuine and wise enthusiasm for life's small, good things.

On Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, friends were received from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and invited to stay on to pray the Rosary at Bross and Spidle Funeral Home in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Father Kevin Drew said Tom's funeral Mass at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, at St. Ann Catholic Church in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the St. Ann Altar Renovations Fund, St. Ann Catholic Church, 1503 Tracy Road, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024.

Arrangements are in the care of Bross and Spidle Funeral Home, 816-630-3131.