Former Warren County Sheriff Larry E. Kopko, Sr., 74, of Kent, Ohio and formerly of Warren, PA., died Thursday afternoon, November 17, 2022, after a 19 month battle with esophageal cancer. Larry was born December 15, 1947, in Washington, PA.
He had served with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War as a Staff Sergeant. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with a major in Criminal Justice from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of National Sheriff’s Institute, Longmont Colorado. He also graduated from Rural Executive Management Institute from Little Rock, Arkansas and the FBI’s Great Lakes Leadership School, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Larry had resided in Warren, Pa., for 44 years, where he was employed as a Patrolman with the Warren Borough Police Department, and then was Lieutenant with Conewango Township Police Department. In January of 1992, he became Sheriff of Warren County. While Sheriff he was instrumental in the DUI effort in Warren County, having deputies participating. In DUI roadblocks and checkpoints, as well as the Drug Task Force, the Buckle Up Program and Domestic Violence Task Force.
While Sheriff, his department was cited by Superintendent of the New York State Police and the Governor of Pennsylvania on the apprehension of a most wanted felon in New York State who had shot and wounded two New York State Troopers and killed another Trooper. Larry retired in 2012, after 20 years serving as Sheriff. He was a teacher at Jamestown Community College, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and National Sheriffs Association. Larry had served as Past Vice Chairman of the National Sheriffs Association Homeland Security Committee.
Larry was a member of Holy Family R.C. Church in Stow, Ohio and a former member of Holy Redeemer R.C. Church, Warren, PA.
He is remembered by his family, as a man who always put his family first, he loved spending time with his wife, children and especially his grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and loved him.
Larry is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann Marie Catuzzi Kopko whom he married in 1969 in Buffalo, N.Y., 3 Children – James A. Kopko and wife, Leah of Bay Village, Ohio, Joseph A. Kopko and wife, Elizabeth of Mt. Lebanon, PA., Marie E. Burke and husband, Rocco of Streetsboro, Ohio, 1 Sister – Debbie Harshey and husband, Larry of Atlasburg, PA., 5 Grandchildren – Carmen, Carter, Andrew, Giuliana, Mattea, several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Shuba, 1 Son – Larry E. Kopko, Jr. who died November 3, 2010.
As a final selfless act, Larry chose to donate his body to the Cleveland Clinic Research Group in hopes of learning more about the effects of agent orange and Camp LeJeune water on veterans.
Friends may call in the gathering space of Holy Redeemer R.C. Church, 11 Russell Street, Warren, PA., on Saturday, November 26, 2022, from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon when a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted by Fr. Stephen Schreiber, Pastor, officiating. The family is requesting that masks be worn during the visitation and funeral mass due to immune compromised attendees. Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery, next to his son, Larry Jr.
Family requests memorial contributions may be made to Semper Fi & America’s Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. E-mail condolences may be sent by visiting www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com The Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc. has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.