Obituary of Christian Kropac (1933 – 2021) – Charlotte, North Carolina
July 20, 1933 – October 22, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina – Christian “Chris” Robert Kropac Sr, 88, of Charlotte, passed away peacefully on Friday October 22, 2021. Born July 20, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of the late William and Charlotte Weber Kropac.
Chris grew up in a family of six, William, John, Helen, Chris, Charlotte and Charlie. Her father and mother instilled in her the importance of family values ââand Sunday family dinners have been a must her whole life. After graduating from John Adams High School, he followed in his brothers’ footsteps and joined the Navy. Served in his country during the Korean War, as an enlisted radar operator on the warship USS Bronson.
At the end of enlistment, Chris met the love of his sweetheart, Lorraine in New York City. Throughout the story, she literally knocked him over on the steps of the metro. This chance meeting became love at first sight and after many trips to Lorraine’s hometown in Massachusetts, they were married on September 3, 1955.
Chris started his business career with Aetna Insurance and quickly realized that he needed to pursue a college education to reach his potential. Chris began his undergraduate studies at City College. When their first child, Janet, was born, Chris and Lorraine left Queens and moved to Long Island, NY and he transferred his studies to Hofstra University. Chris never took the easy route, as none of his City College credits transferred to Hofstra, he had to start from scratch. Chris has balanced a full-time job, raising his family while attending school in the evenings. It took him 10 long years to get a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
After graduation, Chris became a designer at Fairchild Camera and Instrument in Farmingdale, NY. Chris has always wanted to run his own business. While at Fairchild, he started a joint venture with his friend Russ Lester called KL Systems, focusing on designing engineering solutions to common problems. Although they had some success, he quickly realized how difficult it was to start a business from scratch without money and time. He decided to leave the corporate world at Fairchild, when offered a promotion that required him to fire his boss and mentor in order to continue his career. Knowing that he didn’t want to treat people that way, he decided to do better and start his own business.
At the age of 37, with a wife and three young children at home, he took a huge risk and started his own business. He persuaded his neighbor Bud Harrelson (shortstop) and Jerry Grote (catcher) of the 1969 World Series Mets to invest some of their World Series bonus to start a data entry service office – Players Computer Inc ( PCI). Under Chris’s leadership, PCI has grown into a multi-million dollar business performing work for New York City and State government agencies as well as numerous metro companies. In 1983, his son-in-law Skip Pawul joined PCI and his son Chris Jr. joined in 1987. Words cannot express the importance of PCI to Chris. It was a part of him. He realized how important it was to ensure the financial security of his family during this time and into the future. As a true family business, Chris has made his employees part of his extended PCI family, employing thousands of people over the years, including grandmothers, mothers and siblings from the same family! People worked for Chris because they loved and respected him. After running the business for 33 years, he decided to retire in 2003, and generously donated the business to Chris Jr. and Skip. Coincidentally, Chris Jr was 37 at the time. Its legacy continues today as PCI celebrates its 51st business anniversary and continues to operate as a family business.
Chris loved to play golf. He was a long-time member of St. Georges in Long Island, NY and of the Crown Colony in Fort Meyers, FL. Chris also enjoyed playing craps at any casino he could find. He was a frequent visitor to Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Her favorite playing partner was her brother-in-law, Bernie. They have spent many times together in Philadelphia, MS. Chris was a spectacular card player; pinochle, cribbage, ranked double bridge and poker were some of his favorite games.
Chris was a devoted husband and family man. He was the true patriarch of the family. Even after 66 years of marriage to Lorraine, he never lost his love and dedication to the love of his life.
Christian is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Lorraine LeGrow Kropac and his siblings: Helen Grady, Charlotte Whiting and Charles Kropac.
Janet and Walter “Skip” Pawul and their children: Diana and Joe Ruszkowski and their children Amelia and Madison. Danielle and Wayne Rampone Jr and their children Lilly, Wayne III, Carter and Aiden. Tim and Erika Pawul and their children Victoria and Matteo
Cheryl and Robert Christopher and their children: Nicole and Jason Martin and their children Ryleigh and Ressie. Cheyanne and Christian Dwyer. Shelly Seymour and her children Finley and Preston
Christian Robert Jr. and Christina Kropac and their children: Christian Robert III and Carissa and many other loving families and friends.
Christian was predeceased by his parents and brothers, William and John Kropac.
The funeral will be on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at the Hankins and Whittington Funeral Home, 1111 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203, with visitation starting at 12:30 p.m. followed by a chapel service.
A celebration of her life will follow services starting at 3:30 p.m. at Carmel Country club, 4735 Carmel Rd, Charlotte
Chris will be buried, in a private service, at the mausoleum located at Evergreen Cemetery, Belmont, North Carolina.
Online condolences can be made at www.HankinsandWhittington.com.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Charlotte Alzheimer Association:
Posted by Charlotte Observer on October 28, 2021.