Obituary (edited by Sheff)
CHOPTY, NICKOLAS (NICK), PAUL August 25, 1958 ~April 20, 2012
It is with profound sadness that we announce our brother’s passing at age 53. Born to Nick and Doris Chopty in Terrace Bay, Ontario, Nick, in recent years, battled cancer but fought back with strength, determination and courage.
In his youth, it became obvious that he had a talent for sports – excelling in tennis, golf, lacrosse and hockey. It was his hockey abilities that caught the eye of minor league scouts and took the 16-year-old Nick on the road to play for Junior Teams in Kenora, Welland and Peterborough.
Nick played for the Ryerson Rams in 1977-78 and 1978-79 and was a very fast, shifty player with a great shot. Nick was only about 5′ 9″ 160 but coming from the Jr. ranks, he was also a very good pugilist. He once gave up about six inches in height and squared off with a very large RMC defenceman. They both stood back and shook their gloves off then approached each other. Nick broke his jaw and knocked him right out cold. Their trainer had to come out and wake the guy up and two players had to help him get to the dressing room because he couldn’t stand up.
Throughout his life he was a dedicated and loyal fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.Ultimately, however, it was his love of the arts that led him to Toronto’s Ryerson University where he earned a B.A.A. in Media Studies – Photographic Arts. He was passionate about all forms of art, was a voracious reader, introspective writer and painter. Over the last few years he pursued a continuing education in Editing at the University of Waterloo. While pursing his art in Berlin, Germany in the late 1980’s, he witnessed the historic toppling of the Berlin Wall.
He will be remembered for his great wit, intellect and sense of humour. His life was too short but he lived it with passion. He will be sadly missed by his family and good friends. He is survived by sisters, Jane, Judy Colgoni (Frank) and brother David Wheeler (Judy). A private service was held in Toronto, Ontario. Fly on proud bird. You’re free at last.