The Life of George A. Kopchick Jr.

George A. Kopchick Jr., 76, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2022 surrounded by his family.

George is survived by his wife of 31 years Karen Bretz MD., daughter Kortney Kopchick, and son Zachary Kopchick. George was a loving father, husband and a friend to everyone. He was born in Latrobe, PA and was the oldest son of the late George Sr. and Jenny (Dudzik) Kopchick. He was a member of Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Kutztown. 

George attended Saint Vincent Preparatory College, Latrobe; then graduated from Saltsburg High School in 1963. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania; then received his Master's from Northern Michigan University. George started his career in mental health at Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Spring City, PA as a speech pathologist. He then became the assistant program director at Rosewood State Hospital, Owings Mills, MD. Later he advanced to the position of superintendent of Pennhurst Hospital where he improved living conditions and created programs to foster life skills and independent living for the residents. He closed Pennhurst in 1986 and transitioned to the Department of Health and Human Service, Harrisburg, where he retired in 2003. 

George loved all sports and played football, basketball, racketball, tennis and golf. He also loved good food. He was an accomplished cook, and was the Argentier of the Lehigh Valley Chaine. He also loved singing in the choir of St. Mary's. 

In addition to his immediate family he is survived by siblings, Kathleen (Kopchick) Pawlowski; Patrick Kopchick; Joseph Kopchick; Michele (Kopchick) Gregory; Mary (Kopchick) Arnold; and Steven Kopchick.

Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Friday, July 29, 2022, at Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., 333 Greenwich Street, Kutztown. A Memorial Mass will follow at 1:00 p.m. celebrated at Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 14833 Kutztown Rd. Kutztown, with The Reverend Fr. John C. Maria, celebrant. Per wishes of the family, inurnment will be held privately in the future. 

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704 Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Click to View Memorial Tribute Video for George A. Kopchick, Jr.

Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements.  Memories and condolences may be shared at

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Always a smile

George is fondly remembered at Church.  I am one of his Church friends.  I recall warmly George's uplifting laughter.  George was attentive to details and a wonderful host, generous to a fault.  He also cared deeply about people, and listened attentively when I was troubled.  I am proud to have been able to spend time with him.  We shall rise again on the last day.  May peace be yours, George.

Posted by Anne S on 07/25/2022

A nice man

George was my first boss, when I was a newly graduated speech therapist with only my undergraduate degree. At Pennhurst, it was very difficult to make a difference. The living conditions were deplorable and residents were very limited in capability. George had me doing assessments and my first ones were poorly written. He calmly, and with a twinkle in his eyes, ripped up the typed copies, and deposited them into the trash can. He taught me how to assess better, and write more professionally. As I furthered my career and became a speech pathologist, I always looked back on George's positive influence on my professionalism, and wish I had had the opportunity to tell him. May he Rest In Peace.

Posted by Sharon L on 07/20/2022

George's Pennhurst Crew

George was a committed advocate ,consummate leader,dedicated professional and above all a great friend and co-worker. As a group we enjoyed a very special bond both on and off the field so to speak.He brought both a urgency and energy to our work and we greatly valued his presence.Our sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted by Peter O on 07/20/2022


Dear Family, 

I was the Medical Staff Secretary

at Allentown State Hospital.   I remember my interactions with George as him being kind and gracious and always a smile.  He was a good man.  

May your memories warm your hearts at this time.

Posted by Debra K on 07/20/2022

Public Album

My deepest sympathy

Dear Karen,


I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you peace.


Kim Szep

Posted by Kim S on 07/30/2022