We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Markwood Funeral Home
Charles William “Bill” Kopfle
Charles William “Bill” Kopfle passed away on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at UPMC Western Maryland, ten weeks after suffering a cardiac arrest. His recovery was difficult, but he gave a brave attempt to overcome the many complications associated with his condition.
Bill was born in Elkins, WV, July 18, 1945 to Mary Josaphine Kopfle and Francis William Kopfle. His father, a WWII Marine, died on Okinawa, June 10, 1945 before Bill was born. As a young boy, Bill lived in Bayard, WV and attended the public schools there. In high school, he played basketball for the Bayard High School Tigers. After graduating in 1963, he attended Potomac State College, but decided to join the Marines in the spring of 1965.
When boot camp training ended at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, Bill was shipped to Vietnam in January of 1966. He lost his left leg below the knee after stepping on a landmine during his tour of duty. This tragic accident resulted in his return to California where he was admitted to Oak Knoll Military Hospital in Oakland, California. There he was fitted with his first of many prosthetic legs and learned how to become accustomed to his new normal.
When rehabilitation was completed and he felt confident with his situation, Bill decided to return to Keyser and finish his AA degree at Potomac State College. During those years, he played basketball for the Catamounts, coached by Larry Bolyard. Bill never let his disability stop him from striving to be his athletic best in his favorite sport and became an inspiration to many young people in the area.
Later he attended and also graduated from West Virginia State University in Institute, WV with a Physical Education degree. He continued his education at West Virginia University seeking a master’s degree in counseling.
Bill ultimately visited Montana with a friend and decided to stay. He worked there as a letter carrier with the USPS and bought himself land in Paradise Valley outside of Livingston. He resided there for over 35 years. He continued to play basketball and softball for several leagues in the Bozeman area.
In 2010, he married Carolyn Paxton and together they lived in Montana and West Virginia. They also traveled extensively covering the US, Mexico, Alaska, Dominican Republic, Paris, South America and Australia.
He is survived not only by his wife, but also a stepdaughter, Gina Lynn Speight (Jeff), and two grandchildren, Leslie Youtsey (Emerson), and G. Paxton Speight. He also leaves behind his sisters, Mary Salazar and Elizabeth Wojcik (Tony), his brother, Edward Kopfle (Boe) numerous nieces and nephews, and special Montana friends, Herman and Renae Wilson. He was preceded in death not only by his mother, father, and his grandparents, but also by his stepson, E. Scott Paxton.
A memorial service will be held July 16, 2022 at Markwood Funeral Home, Keyser, WV at 2:00 pm. Friends will be received two hours prior to the service. He will be buried with Military Honors beside family in Potomac Memorial Gardens.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions in Bill’s memory to the American Heart Association, 10315 National Hwy SW, Lavale, MD 21502 or the Humane Society, HC 84, Box 12, Keyser, WV 26726.
As we remember Bill…….“Don’t be sad that he is gone, be happy that you had the chance to know him.”
Mineral County Humane Society
Mt. View Veterinarian, 90 Southern Dr., Keyser, WV 26726, AB
American Heart Association
PO Box 417005, Boston MA 02241