BLIND CENTER SPOTLIGHT ON JOHN KOPSO
John was born on November 11, 1944 to John and Mary Kopso. John grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, graduating in 1963 from Andrew Warde High School. Upon graduation, John joined the United States Air Force where he served as a mechanic. He was honorably discharged after his two-year term of service was completed.
Upon his discharge from the Air Force, John joined the work force as a technician for Lycoming, AVCO Corporation in their Metallurgy Research and Development Department. In 1975, John married Andrea. They were married for 18 years. They had a son Brendan, currently 35 years of age. Subsequently John worked for Raytheon, Machlett Labs in Springdale, Connecticut in the Fiber Optics Research and Development Department. In that capacity he and his fellow workers were working on night vision goggles for the United States Military. Due to a lack of government funding, John was laid off after three years. John then worked as a mechanic at a service center in Sloan, Connecticut. In 1980, John began employment for an armored car company, Coin Depot, operating out of Long Island. For eight and a half years John was employed with Coin Depot as a Vault Manager.
In 1988 John and his family moved to Mays Landing, NJ. John was hired as a Transportation Manager by the Claridge Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City. After four years with the Claridge, John went to the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College, receiving a certificate in Culinary Arts which culminated in his obtaining employment as a Chef at the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino. After about two years, John was laid off. John, after a brief period of unemployment, secured work in the Dix Sporting Goods Store in Mays Landing,
starting as a salesman and moving up to Manager.
In the year 2000, John was involved in a very serious automobile accident when his vehicle was struck by two other cars. John required spinal fusion surgery, and was laid up for five years. Although the rehabilitation was lengthy, John has no residual pain or ill effects from the accident. John credits his surgeon for doing a superb job with his surgery.
When John’s recuperation was complete, he obtained employment with the City of Wildwood as a heavy equipment operator. He worked for the City of Wildwood until 2011 when he retired from that position.
In 2012, John began losing his sight. The diagnosis was a rare condition known as Naion which is brought about by reduced oxygen and low blood pressure to the optic nerve. John has been advised that the condition is irreversible. Nevertheless John has a positive attitude. He has worked with the Blind Center’s computer instructor, Mario Tobia, through the Veterans Administration to learn and effectively use the iPhone. Currently John is working with the Commission for the Blind which is providing computer lessons in screen reading technology for him. The purpose of his studying the computer with screen reading technology is so that John can once again secure employment. John says that he is bored with retirement. He wants to be employed and leading a productive life even though he is losing his sight.
John notes that he is a newlywed, having married Connie just two years ago. John began attending meetings at the Blind Center last year. He particularly enjoys sharing experiences with his fellow participants at the Blind Center. His participation in the meetings, excursions and other activities of the Blind Center has been quite rewarding. He has been an enthusiastic participant and a very positive addition to the group. We wish John well and hope for his continued success as he studies the computer and other technical skills necessary to obtain employment. He will be a very positive addition to any work force and we wish him well.