Former state Rep. Jerry Kopel passes away

Longtime Colorado Statesman columnist Jerry Kopel, who served 22 years in the Colorado House, peacefully passed away Saturday, Jan. 21. He was 83 years old. A figure in Colorado politics for decades, Kopel was an avid collector of legislative facts and history and enumerated them for many years in his unique weekly columns in The Statesman. He won several top awards from the Colorado Press Association over the years for his column writing and contributions to public service.

Jerry Kopel

We will share tributes to Jerry in the coming weeks but wanted our readers to know of this great loss to the newspaper and to his family and many friends and admirers. We extend our condolences to his lovely wife Dolores and son David Kopel.

We hope our readers will be reminded of Jerry's many accomplishments by looking back at a recent article by columnist Morgan Smith, who served with Jerry in the Legislature. The article appeared Sept. 23, 2011 in the newspaper, and can be viewed by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/yHD9h3

There will a private burial service for Jerry, followed in a few weeks by a public celebration of his life. We'll post details and they will also be available online at www.jerrykopel.com as soon as they are confirmed.