Milton Ales Kopecky
Corona del Mar, Calif.
Milton Ales Kopecky, 85, died of pancreatic cancer on May 17, 2020, at his home in Corona del Mar, Calif. Milt was born Feb. 6, 1935, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to parents Vaclav (Wes) and Bozena (Bessie) Kopecky. He was the younger brother of Dr. Edward Kopecky and Georgia Bezdek. He graduated from McKinley High School in 1952, where he was on the tennis team. During college, he worked for Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids. After graduation from the University of Iowa and his U.S. Army service in Arizona, he settled in southern California and continued his engineering career with Collins Radio in Newport Beach, Calif. He retired from Rockwell International in 1980.
Milt's passions were cars, travel and tango. He loved sports cars and had many over the years from Jaguar to Alfa Romeo to Porsche. He visited countless countries in every continent except Antarctica, both for work and personal travel. Milt was extraordinarily proud of his Czech heritage and maintained close relationships with his cousins in the Czech Republic. His first visit there was in 1948 and he traveled there often once it was no longer part of the Eastern Bloc. After his diagnosis in March 2019, he traveled to Iowa twice, Czech Republic, Chile, Costa Rica and took a Panama Canal Cruise, making the most of his time. He discovered tango music and tango dancing in his 50s, and met his wife Elizabeth in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They enjoyed over 26 years of dancing together, taking lessons, dancing in showcases, traveling to festivals and collecting old recordings.
He is survived by his daughter, Kristina Berry, and her husband, David of Marion; grandson, Trevor Berry of Huntington Beach, Calif.; granddaughter, Haley Berry of Denver, Colo.; his wife, Elizabeth Figueroa; stepdaughter, Dr. Mariely Ercolano and son, Domenico, both of Santiago, Chile; stepdaughter, Roberta Ercolano of Cartagena, Colombia; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Per Milt's wishes, he will be cremated and there will be no memorial service.