Regimental Number: M562600 & R159030
Martin, born on August 5, 1918 in Edmonton, was the oldest of nine children in the family of George and Pauline (nee Stusik) Czupryk. He had four brothers; John, Pete, Randy, George and four sisters; Margaret, Mary, Annie, Helen. George was originally from Austria and immigrated to Canada in 1910. He worked all over Canada and the United States. In Canora, he met and subsequently married Pauline Stusik who was also from Austria. The young couple decided to move to northern Alberta where George filed a homestead application on land (NE 18-72-3-W6) in an area of Bezanson known as Kleskun Hill. The children attended the East Kleskun School, Fitzsimmons School, Lindsay High School and St. Joseph’s High School in Grande Prairie.
On November 20, 1940, Martin enrolled in a 30-day compulsory training course with the Non-Permanent Active Militia of Canada in Grande Prairie. Private Martin Czupryk served with the 2nd Battalion, Edmonton Regiment and was discharged on December 20, 1940. Martin went on to serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force (Regimental # R159030) during WWII.
Martin decided to move to Edmonton where he met Katherine Kokotylo whom he subsequently married on August 25, 1943. Martin had been using “Cooper” for his last name but made the name change official in 1951. Martin’s main employment was as a truck driver on highway hauls. The young couple’s first house was on 98th avenue and 76th street, Edmonton.
Martin decided to go into business for himself and purchased the North Star Service Station which he ran from 1955 to 1970 selling petroleum products first for North Star Oil and later for Shell Oil. He renamed the business “Cooper’s Place”. The Service Station had an attached residence – the portion of the building that is behind the boat that Martin had fabricated.
In 1970, Martin sold the business and moved to Avonmore on 75th avenue, Edmonton. His hobbies included mechanics and sheet metal work. Martin even fabricated a motorhome. Katherine and Martin had two sons, Don and Ken. Ken passed away in 2000.
Martin passed away on January 1, 1981 and was cremated. Katherine passed away in 2000.
Contributed by Wanda Zenner
Smoky River to Grande Prairie p. 124
Interview with son Don Cooper