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It is with great sadness the Copps family announces the passing of Michael W. Copps age 80, on Sunday, September 22, 2019, in Daytona Beach Florida. He died due to complications of a stroke on June 17, 2019.
There was SO much more to Mike Copps than his gregarious, flamboyant, and boisterous personality! Anyone who knew Mike Copps could see he lived EVERY moment of his life to the fullest – something most of us can only dream about achieving. To look at him you would say he “had it all” – which he did – but without arrogance or materialism, and with a deep feeling of caring for all humanity. A unique soul who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Michael was born on August 29th, 1939 in Stevens Point Wisconsin, to Donald William and Mary Jane Copps.
He graduated from Pacelli High School in 1958. Mike attended Marquette University and then transferred to UW Madison where he played for the 1961 Wisconsin Badger Football team while acquiring his business degree in 1963. Later on, he attended UW Madison Law school where he obtained his law degree in 1967. He also attended USC (University of Southern California) and Loyola Marymount University.
Mike was the CEO of the Copps Corporation from 1980 to 2001. Copps was one of Wisconsin’s leading food distribution and supermarket operators. During his tenure, Copps grew from 178 to 635 million in annual sales with active employment from 1,900 to 6,500 employees. The Copps Corporation had 23 supermarkets and was supplier to 47 independently owned and operated IGA supermarkets throughout Wisconsin and the Michigan Upper Peninsula.
Mike served on various boards including the YMCA, Milwaukee Children’s Hospital, Portage County Economic Development Council, University of Wisconsin Athletic Advisory Council, UWSP Foundation, Bank One, and Goodwill. He was also a board of directors for IGA for thirteen years while being on IFD (International Food Distributor) board for nine years.
Throughout Mike’s life, he accomplished many great successes such as being awarded J. Frank Grimes award for leadership in the IGA system. Mike was the campaign chairman of the 1988 United Way Campaign. His campaign achieved the highest percentage increase in the history of Wisconsin at 31%. He also received the Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce President’s Award as an outstanding citizen in 1989.
Both parents preceded Mike in death. Mike is survived by his two children, Clinton A. Copps, Carolyn A. Jaedecke, and their mother Priscilla Copps along with his grandchildren Shelby, Ally, Olivia, Sophia, Claire, and Brandon. He is further survived by his former-wife and partner Paula Minter and daughters Melissa and Michelle Minter. Mike’s siblings include Sally Jensen (Richard), Janie Windels (Tom), Donald/Lucky Copps (Cheryl), Elizabeth Stange (John).
In lieu of flowers, charities of choice are Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, Stevens Point Area YMCA, Family Crisis Center or Operation Bootstrap
A celebration of Mike’s life will be held on Saturday on October 12th at The Stevens Point Country Club from 12-3 pm.