John Opinsky, a third-generation Alaskan, grew up in Downtown Anchorage  From a young age, John was raised as a dedicated fan and enthusiast for the Boston Red Sox, and his passion for the game only grew from there.

John and his wife Cathy were thrilled at the arrival of their son Jack in 2001, who was then followed just 14 months later by the birth of their twin sons Nicko and Jimmy. A life with this trio of boys honed John’s love of sports and his care for the next generation.

As a committed youth baseball coach for many years, he was not just a leader on the field but was seen as a father figure to dozens of kids who looked up to him. He leaves behind a coaching legacy renowned for demonstrating and reiterating key life lessons, and a desire to know the whole kid, not just their stats and athletic ability. For many, when they hear the word “Coach”, he will be the one who always comes to mind.

John was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer in the Spring of 2019. John faced his cancer diagnosis with bravery and defiance, telling the Anchorage Daily News in August, “I’m showing my sons I’m not going anywhere, and I’m going to live my life to the fullest…I can do my part and keep fighting.”

In July of 2020 as the head coach of the Anchorage West High Baseball team, John secured the State Baseball Championship for West for the first time since 1977 with an awe-inspiring final play by his son Jack Opinsky.

This fund will be donor advised in John’s memory by his wife Cathy, and three sons Jack, Nicko, and Jimmy. The family is glad that John’s love of the game will be able to live on through this fund, where it will be used to support baseball-related programs and projects in the Anchorage area for many years.


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