Edward J. Lopata, a lawyer and Marine Corps veteran, died of stomach cancer Wednesday at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was 66.
An Anne Arundel County resident for nearly 30 years, Mr. Lopata was born and raised in East Vandergrift, Pa. His father was a steelworker and his mother a homemaker.
In the early 1960s, Mr. Lopata was a forward and co-captain for the Georgetown University Hoya basketball team. He earned his law degree at Georgetown in 1966.
He practiced law for 23 years with the Washington-based firm of Jordan, Coyne, Savits & Lopata, representing insurance companies and other clients in product liability, workers' compensation and other cases. In 1993, he joined the Baltimore firm of Tydings and Rosenberg, where he practiced until his death.
Family members said Mr. Lopata enjoyed fine dining and wines, family vacations, golf, sailing and travel. His stepdaughter Courtney Ducharme of Davidsonville said he also loved talking politics over the dinner table. "He was very conservative," she said.
Richard A. Tice, a close friend and neighbor from Severna Park, said Mr. Lopata always knew how to spur a conversation. "Whether you agreed with his point of view or not, he was always a provocative person in getting you to think about issues," Mr Tice said.
Mr. Lopata served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps after graduating from Georgetown and, according to the family, earned a Navy Commendation Medal during service in Vietnam.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park at 11 a.m. today.
In addition to his stepdaughter and his wife of 28 years, Marcia S. Lopata of Annapolis, Mr. Lopata is survived by two brothers, Paul Lopata of Phoenix, Ariz., and James Lopata of Daytona Beach, Fla.; two sisters, Dorothy Zelonka of Levittown, Pa., and Mary Ann Oresky of Detroit; a son, Michael Lopata of Severn; a stepson, Clarke Miller of Annapolis; another stepdaughter, Kendall Frank of Atlanta; and six grandchildren.