Thomas Gregory Kopriva, 82, of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, passed away in the early hours of November 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 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 and 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, November 14, 2022, friends will be received from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., and are invited to stay on to pray the Rosary at Bross & Spidle Funeral Home in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Father Kevin Drew will say Tom’s funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 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.
Our Sincere Condolences
Dear Kopriva family you have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one. Anna I am thinking of you and the boys.
My deepest condolences to my friend Noel, her Mom and sisters and all her family during this time. The world lost a good man. Tom’s devotion and many, many positive actions left the world a better place. May he rest in eternal peace.
Anna and family, although I only had the pleasure of talking to Mr. Kopriva a few times, each encounter was a delightful experience. His legacy will live on through the kind and gentle spirits of his children and grandchildren. Blessings to all of you.
I am so sorry for your loss, Tom was my friend for a long time.
So saddened to hear of your loss. Tom will be missed by so many. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Scott and Jeanne
Tom, and sometimes Judy, made sure I knew what the rain gauge indicated before they emptied it. It hung on my fence in the place where we (including Larry) often visited about the weather, the Chiefs and Grandkids. May the Lord lift you up and give you comfort.
To the Kopriva Family, especially Mrs. Julia Kopriva, I am so sorry for your loss! Please know I am thinking of all of you at this difficult time. Prayers for all of Tommy’s family.
Suzanne Jones Chelf
To Judy and Kopriva family,
Our deepest condolences, and prayers as we have just heard of this sad news.
Tom was always a great neighbor and friend , always sharing conversation when we would see one another.
He will be missed and always remembered in our thoughts.
Your neighbors ,
Chris and Phil