Hockey 03

Paul Francis Coppo

November 2, 1938 ~ June 2, 2022 (age 83)


Paul Francis Coppo, 83, of De Pere, died on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at Aurora Bay Care in Green Bay.

Paul was born on November 2, 1938 in Hancock, MI to the late Paul John and Emma (Hauswirth) Coppo. He was a 1956 graduate of Hancock High School. He furthered his education at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, MI and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. On June 21, 1958, he married the former Carol Jean Witting. She preceded him in death on June 6, 2006. Paul began his career at Green Bay Drop Forge and then moved onto Green Bay Structural Steel, Wheeling Steel and then became co-owner of Upper Lakes Coal and Fox River Dock.

Paul was an exceptional athlete, excelling in multiple sports at a young age, but his love for the game of hockey is what drove him to pursue it and become a fierce competitor in the sport.  He started his youth career with the Portage Lake Pioneers which led to playing collegiate hockey at Michigan Tech University where he led the team as Captain, First Team All-American, and leading scorer (with only 6 penalties in his collegiate career!)

After his college career, Paul made the move in 1960 from his hometown of Hancock, MI to Green Bay, WI to play for the Green Bay Bobcats. In his 12-year career as a Bobcat, he scored 227 goals and 325 assists for 557 total points setting the record as the team's all-time leading scorer.   

He then went on to become the leading scorer for both the 1962 U.S. National Team and the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team in Innsbruck, Austria. 

Following his playing career with the Green Bay Bobcats, Paul then coached the team and later became an owner. He was later inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

Paul felt it important to share his passion for the game and in doing so became involved in the De Pere Youth Hockey Association, where he coached and mentored young players for eight years. 

After his hockey career, he continued to be a strong supporter of the local ice hockey programs in De Pere and Green Bay, spending countless hours coordinating and contributing to fundraising activities, helping to grow both area's youth hockey programs as well as the collegiate program at St. Norbert College. 

Always quick with a joke and the best punchlines ever, Paul will always be remembered for his laughter and generous heart.

Paul is survived by his daughter and son-in-law: Christine (Gregg) Verbeten, De Pere; son and daughter-in-law: John (Kristina) Coppo, De Pere; grandchildren: Lindsay (Christopher) Schmidt, MN, Benjamin (fiancé Ashtin) Verbeten, Green Bay, Grady, Ava, and Casey Coppo, De Pere; great-grandchildren: MacKenzie, Calvin, and Henry;  one sister and brother-in-law: Kathy (Mike) Corielle, IL; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Sonya Coppo, Wisconsin Rapids, Gertrude Witting, MI, Jim (Sandy) Witting, MI, Lois Witting, Two Rivers, John (Peg) Ylitalo, MI, and Bruce Witting, MI; special friend: Nona Ruohonen, MI; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends survive. Paul was preceded in death by his parents: Paul and Emma Coppo; wife of 48 years: Carol Jean; sister and brother-in-law: Marilyn (Edward) Santori; one brother: Michael Coppo; father and mother-in-law: John (Mary) Witting; brothers-in-law: Jocho Witting, Al Witting, and George Witting; and nephew: Chad WItting.

A memorial service to celebrate Paul’s life will be held at 12:00pm on Friday, June 10, 2022 at Old St. Joseph Catholic Church, 123 Grant St. De Pere, with Rev. Jim Baraniak will celebrate the mass of Christian Burial. Following the service, a visitation and celebration of his life will be held at the Swan Club.  An inurnment will take place at a later date in Hancock, MI.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to the family by visiting

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in his name.

The Lyndahl Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.

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Funeral Mass
June 10, 2022

12:00 PM
St. Norbert College Parish (Old St. Joseph Catholic Church)
123 Grant Street
De Pere, WI 54115

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