on May 23, 2014 - 9:09 PM
March 29, 1975 – May 14, 2014
A service for Master Sgt. John J. Colpoys Jr., a Buffalo native who served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Martin Catholic Church, 1140 Abbott Road.
Sgt. Colpoys was killed May 14 in a motorcycle accident in Italy, where he was stationed. He was 39.
The graduate of West Seneca West High School wasstationed everywhere from Germany to Japan and served deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sgt. Colpoys’ father passed away during his senior year of high school. His sister, Kimberly Burridge, one year his junior, said her brother accepted the father role in the family.
“He taught me everything,” Burridge said. “He taught me how to deal with what comes, how to move past it and how to come out with a big smile on your face.”
At West Seneca West, he wrestled, ran track and was on the football team.
“He was definitely a leader on and off the field,” Burridge said.
He moved out of Buffalo in 1994 and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Misawa, Japan; Spangdahlem, Germany; and Luke, Ariz., before arriving at Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy in 2011.
Sgt. Colpoys was a motorcycle instructor and a member of the Aviano Green Knights motorcycle club and the Harley Hog riders. He also was a member of the Free Masons society.
“He was so loyal and giving that he would never have someone do something he would not do himself,” Burridge said of her brother. “If he thought someone was in need of a little help but wouldn’t ask, he’d just show up and do beyond what they could possibly fathom.
“He never asked for a thank- you in return, nothing like that. He found it an honor to help people.”
In addition to his sister, he is survived by his wife, Lisa; a son, Justin; and his mother, Kim M. Norris.