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1951 James 2022

James M. Sopko

September 15, 1951 — October 23, 2022

James Melvin Sopko, 71, of Biwabik, died Sunday October 23, 2022 at Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.  At his request, there will be no formal funeral service.  Arrangements by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.

James was born September 15, 1951 in Virginia, Minnesota to Joseph and Helen (Larson)Sopko.  He was a 1969 graduate of Biwabik High School and a 1973 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Stout.  He worked in a machine shop in New Lisbon, Wisconsin for two years from 1973-1975.  On December 29, 1973 he married Judy Cooper and they celebrated 48 years of marriage. 

In 1975 he returned to Biwabik where he taught Industrial Arts in Babbitt for two years.  James began working for Biwabik Schools and later for Mesabi East Schools as a boiler operator and in pool maintenance for 39 years.  He retired to enjoy his dog, Lexi.  James had a love for his Doberman dogs and spent countless hours working in the garage.

Survivors include his wife, Judy; siblings: Stacy (Ed) Holmstrom of Biwabik and Bonnie (Ron) Dennison of Elkhart, Indiana; children: Steven (Chris) Sopko of Dilworth, Mn and Krissy (Jason) Finco of Coon Rapids; grandchildren: Joseph, Morgan, Theo, Sara, Alex and Zac Sopko, Kylie and Weston Finco; brothers-in-law: Gary Cooper, Dan (Lisa) Cooper and Don Cooper; sister-in-law, Connie Voigt; numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Helen; brothers-in-law, John Voigt and Larry Cooper; sister-in-law, Georgianna Cooper.

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