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Obituary: Philip Kupchella, retired Blacklick Valley teacher

Philip Kupchella, 50, a longtime teacher at Blacklick Valley High School and a resident of Twin Rocks, died May 11, 2002, unexpectedly of natural causes. A 1970 graduate of Blacklick Valley High School and an alumnus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he received bachelor and master degrees in education, he had taught Spanish and English and was a drama coach and forensics coach. He had been retired after 26 years of service from Blacklick Valley, where his teams won six District V IU8 Championships. Many of the students he coached qualified for state and national recognition and he was elected in 1998 to the High School IU8 Speech League Hall of Fame.

Born February 28, 1952, in Nanty Glo, he was a son of Charles and Margaret (Buoite) Kupchella. He was preceded in death by his father on May 28, 1994. Surviving are his mother; brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Adele (Kiel) Kupchella, of Grand Forks, N.D.; Thomas and Carol (Smith) Kupchella, Nanty Glo; James and Janet (Wilshire) Kupchella, Johnstown; Lawrence Kupchella, Nanty Glo; and Eugene and Regina (Trio) Kupchella, Westmont; nieces and nephews, Rick, Michele, Jason, Tracy, Karen, Dana, Jessica, Nicholas, Sam, Arlene, Julie, Natalie and Stephen; 10 great-nieces and nephews; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is also survived by his pet cat, Guenevere.

He was a member and director of the choir at Saints Timothy and Mark Roman Catholic Church, Twin Rocks, where he also served on the parish council and where memorial mass will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, the Rev. Father James H. Conrad, STL, celebrant.

Mr. Kupchella also was an avid potter who participated in fine art exhibitions across the state and shared his hobby with others. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Associaion, the National Education Association, and was on the Board of the Allegheny Highlands Regional Theater (AHRT), where he performed in numerous theatrical productions. He also was an avid musician, vocalist, trivia guru, and Scrabbleist.

Interment will be at the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations were requested to Saints Timothy and Mark Roman Catholic Church, Twin Rocks.

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