Dr. Robert ("Bob") W. Colopy, beloved retired physician, passed peacefully of natural causes in his home, surrounded by his family, on November 15, 2017. He was 95 years old. He will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, wide-ranging intellect, compassionate nature, deep and abiding faith, and boundless good humor. He was one of the best of us and made the world a better place.
Born to Leo and Anna Colopy in 1922 in Zanesville, Ohio, Dr. Colopy was raised by loving family members after his mother's death in his infancy. His early life was punctuated by days on the family farm, where he developed an enduring love of animals and physical activity. His diligent and hard-working nature was formed early, as he peddled newspapers on the street corners of Zanesville at the height of the Great Depression. Dr. Colopy excelled as a student, and was an industrious and lifelong learner, seeking new opportunities through education. He is a 1940 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School. Dr. Colopy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from John Carrol University in two and a half years and served in the United States Army at the end of World War II.
Dr. Colopy parlayed his military medic experience into a love of medicine. With the help of the GI Bill, Dr. Colopy completed his medical degree at St. Louis University in 1947 and returned to St. John's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio to complete an extensive medical residency in Obstetrics. While in his residency, Dr. Colopy met two people that would forever enrich his life. The first was his lifelong friend, business partner and professional colleague, Dr. Paul W. Hanahan. And the second, Margaret Cannon, was a feisty registered nurse who became the love of his life and, in 1949, his devoted wife.
Following his residency, Dr. Colopy served as a Captain and Chief of OB/GYN for the US Army Medical Corps in Maryland during the Korean War. In a two-year period, he delivered more than 1,000 babies for military families. The Colopys returned home to Cleveland and Dr. Colopy was elected to the medical staff of Lake Hospital in 1952. In 1953, along with Dr. Hanahan, he opened a groundbreaking medical practice, the first devoted exclusively to the specialty of OB/GYN in Ohio. In 1959, they were joined by Dr. Albert Bringardner. In a medical career spanning more than 50 years, Dr. Colopy delivered over 6000 babies in the Lake County area. He was beloved by his patients and recognized throughout the region as a compassionate, skilled and generous doctor.
As devoted to his community as he was his patients, Dr. Colopy served the region with his time, professional talents and faith. He attended 7:00 am mass before work every morning and was a member at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Painesville. Dr. Colopy was the Past President and Board Member of Catholic Service Bureau of Lake and Geauga County, a member of the Advisory Board for Neighboring Lake County Services, a leader in the Painesville Exchange Club, founding member of the local Serra Club, Past President of the Lake County American Cancer Society, and a longtime member of GYRO International and the local Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed memberships at both Madison Country Club and The Moorings in Vero Beach, Florida.
He volunteered as a physician at the Free Clinic and Bloodmobile blood donor sites. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Colopy was a Clinical Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McDonald House of University Hospitals. His professional memberships included the American Medical Association, American College of OB/GYN, American College of Surgeons, and the Lake County Medical Society (Past President). He was a three-time Chairman of the OB/GYN Department of Lake Hospital System and served on the Lake Hospital Board of Trustees. He was honored by his peers as the 1984 Lake Hospital Physician of the Year and received special recognition in 1997 from the Ohio State Medical Society for 50 years in medicine. In 2001, Dr. Colopy was the recipient of the Dr. Kenneth Alperin Humanitarian Award. As dedicated as he was to his profession and community, Bob was a family man and dear friend to many. He and Margaret had four children, Patrick, Mary Anne, Winnie and Joyce. Their homes in Painesville, Ohio and Vero Beach, Florida were gathering places for neighbors and friends. He treasured his personal relationships and always made time to nurture his loved ones. Following his retirement in 1998, he continued as a community philanthropist and engaged in his hobbies with a passionate pursuit. He was an outdoorsman and enjoyed gardening (especially his rose bushes and holly trees) and tried to get on the golf course as often as possible. He celebrated three holes in one throughout his lifetime. Dr. Colopy was an avid sports fan, and could often be found cheering on the John Carrol Blue Streaks and Cleveland sports teams, especially the Cleveland Indians. In the final years of his life, Dr. Colopy maintained an interest in Science, current events, developing technology and Jesuit teachings. The family would like to extend special appreciation to his daily caregivers and companions, as well as the Hospice of the Western Reserve who supported him in his final days.
Dr. Colopy was preceded in death in 2006 by his devoted wife, Margaret; his parents, Leo and Anna Colopy and his step-mother, Cecilia; his brother, Richard Colopy; and his aunt, Mary Alice Colopy and the loving grandparents, aunts, and uncles that helped to raise him.
He is survived by his son, Patrick (Gail) Colopy, as well as his daughters, Mary Anne Colopy Gluhank, Winifred (Sandra Shumway) Walter and Joyce (Alan) DiMare. The Doctor is also mourned by his sister, Marilyn Steitz; and many loving nephews, nieces and extended family members. He will be especially missed by those that adopted him into their families, including his dear friends, Gayle, Alan and Courtney Jones; his "grandchildren"; his devoted caregivers, Kim, Debbie, Denise, Carolee, Tasha, Shannon, and Beth; and the many patients, colleagues, and people whose lives he touched so deeply.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home, 368 Mentor Avenue, (opposite Lake Erie College), Painesville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:30 a.m.Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 242 N. State St., Painesville, Ohio, (Please meet at the church) with burial at Riverside Cemetery to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 17876 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44110 or John Carroll University Scholarship Programs, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Hts., Ohio 44118 or St. Mary Catholic Church.
Online guest book, condolences and directions at www.johnsonfuneralservices.net