Richard E. Kopliner, 81, of Derby, formerly of Dunkirk and Las Vegas, Nev., died Wednesday afternoon (June 15, 2022) at Buffalo General Hospital following a brief illness.
He was born on Jan. 28, 1941, in Dunkirk, the son of the late Chester and Lucille (Ceranowicz) Kopliner.
Survivors include one sister, Theresa (David Sr.) Renckens of Dunkirk; three nieces: Denise (Scott) Szalkowski of Fredonia, Amy (Jim) Link Welker of Sewell, N.J., and Donna Link-Brickner of Sewell, N.J.; and one nephew, David Jr. (Ann) Renckens of Fredonia.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by Cathie C. Singel; and his sister, Lucille Link.
A proud veteran, Richard served in the U.S. Army from 1963-65. He was honored to have served his country and to be recognized with the Army Good Conduct Medal and Honorable Discharge. Following his military service, Richard relocated to Las Vegas, Nev., where he met the love of his life, Cathie Singel. Together, they enjoyed their time together, especially traveling to Scotland, where Cathie grew up. Following Cathie’s passing, Richard moved back to WNY to be near family.
While in Las Vegas, Richard worked at various casinos, concluding his career as a floor manager at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Throughout his years working at the various casinos, he met thousands of people, including many celebrities. He talked fondly about the many memories he made while working in Las Vegas.
Richard was an avid sports enthusiast. He especially enjoyed watching football, hockey, and his all time favorite sport, soccer. He had a keen memory and could remember and recall long lists of names, numbers, scores, and stats from sporting events.
What Richard cherished most was time with his family. He was always interested in the lives of his nieces and nephews and their children. He shared a special relationship with his sister, Theresa, and brother-in-law, David. The three of them enjoyed spending time together so much so that the family coined them the “three amigos.” Their adventures took them all over WNY.
Richard will be forever remembered for his beautiful smile, gentle eyes, kind and caring heart, and his unconditional love.
Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven watching over us.
Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Richard’s life by performing an act of kindness in his memory.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at 11 a.m. in Blessed Mary Angela Parish, Church of St. Hyacinth. Father Jan Trela officiated. Full military honors were accorded by the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard. Pallbearers were Ashley Szalkowski, Nicholas Renckens, Matthew Szalkowski, Benjamin Renckens, Michael Szalkowski and Paul Herrmann. Burial was in St. Hyacinth’s Cemetery.
Arrangements were by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.