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George Kopac, 89, of Palisades, New York, died last month at the age of 89
George Kopac’s 9-W Driving Range in Palisades, New York was a place that meant a great deal to him and his family. Over time he expanded it, added more than two dozen teas, and made it their business venture.
His love and devotion to his wife Gertrude and children were always the most important things in his life. He will be sorely missed by them, as well as twelve cherished grandchildren and five beloved great-grandchildren.
Early Life and Education
Last month, George Kopac, a renowned pro golfer who passed away at 89 years of age, was immensely proud of his humble beginnings. Despite his success, he never forgot the significance of family and friends in his life.
He had many possessions. Married to Gertrude Piroso, they constructed their dream home in Tappan, New York.
One of his many achievements was owning and operating 9W Golf driving range in Tappan. Additionally, he donated to numerous local organizations and was an active member of Closter Lions Club. A WWII Navy veteran and graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, he served as a volunteer at American Museum of Natural History for many years before retirement.
George Kopac was a high school golf champion, served in the Navy aboard the USS Columbus and eventually purchased his family’s driving range in 1967. Together with his wife Gertrude, they remodeled it, added more than two dozen tees, and made it their own.
On a cold winter’s day at his range on the Hudson River, Kopac promised him always leaving out a bucket of balls for him. And sure enough, this little boy grew up and became an accomplished ballplayer.
On Sunday afternoon, George Kopac’s former student Scottie Scheffler won his third round at the Masters with a commanding three-shot lead. As their family gathered around their television set to watch their son make history, George Kopac felt immense pride.
Achievements and Honors
George Kopac was an ardent golf fan, though he may not have won a major championship, he did manage to capture one of golf’s most prestigious awards – given to him by his friend and fellow scribe Arnold Palmer.
George was also a proud father of six. But what truly distinguished George during his illustrious career was that his success never compromised his integrity or love for his family. Despite all of his accomplishments, George remained an incredibly humble and gracious individual – truly a gentleman in every sense of the word.
He will be fondly remembered by his loyal tweens and teens, whom he proudly called his sons and daughters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandkids and great grandkids. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
George Kopac was a beloved member of his family, lovingly serving as husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Survived by his beloved wife Gertrude and beloved children Wendy (James) Stewart, Kathyanne Cook, George Kopac, Michael (Lisa) Kopac and Diane Kopac; twelve adoring grandchildren and five great-grandchildren also survive him.
Two decades ago, a small boy came to George Kopac and his wife’s driving range on the Hudson River in frigid temperatures. He hit balls high and far into mounds of snow.
The Kopacs were forever inspired by those stories of a little kid learning how to play golf on a frigid winter day, and were immensely proud when their son Scottie Scheffler went on to become an accomplished world-class golfer.
George and Gertrude enjoyed many special moments with their son. George was especially proud of Florence, who made it her life mission to continue running the family business as a full-time career.
George Kopac was a legendary golf instructor with big hands and arms who always wanted his kids to succeed. He never believed in one-size-fits all solutions, something his daughter Diane took to heart; he taught her you could be yourself and it would all come naturally. A couple years ago, he told her and their children Scottie Scheffler would make it someday, and on Saturday it happened as he won his third PGA Tour event and is now in contention for another Masters title. His two acre Whitney House at 26 Woods Road in Nyack is listed for sale at $1.89 million so George Kopac likely has an enormous net worth now.