John D Kopke of Pasadena, Md., passed away on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at University of Maryland, Baltimore Washington Medical Center. John was born January 24,1943 in Bayonne, NJ to Mary (nee Ondis) and Joseph Henry Kopke.
John is survived by his loving family which includes two brothers, Frederick and Anthony, his wife Diane, his ex-wife Roxanne and their children, John D. Jr (David), Laura, Andrew and five grandchildren. John will be missed by family as well as childhood and long time friends.
After graduating Bayonne High School in NJ, John entered Coast Guard service in 1961 after training at Avery Point Engineering School in Groton, CT.
John served as a Sr Throttleman on the weathership Ocean Station Bravo, located between Greenland and Iceland, also spent time stationed on the USCGC Humboldt at The Bay of Pigs during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His military career continued as Petty Officer and Coxswain at Point Allerton Life Boat Station in Hull, MA concluding after serving in the reserves until 1967 and receiving an honorable discharge.
Following Coast Guard service, John began his Railroad career in 1965 with the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) at the South Amboy, NJ Engine House as a locomotive machinist and electrician. John's railroad career included advancements from machinist/electrician to foreman of the mechanical department in NJ, Massachusetts and ultimately, Chief Mechanical Officer. Through railroad mergers John's railroad career included working for Penn Central, Conrail, NJ Transit, Amtrak and finally with MDOT/MTA MARC as the Assistant Director/Chief Mechanical Officer before retiring in 2003.
Following retirement, John was fortunate to be able to pursue his love of the water and boats and spent a lot of his time on his boat with his son, Andrew and his "sailor cats".
A ceremony will be planned through the Coast Guard to honor his service with the scattering of his ashes at sea.