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Super Jets fan "Kroppy" dies at age 98

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/9/2016 (820 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Len Kropioski, famous for his salute during the singing of O Canada at Winnipeg Jets games, has died at age 98, his granddaughter confirmed late Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough day,” said Kim Innard of Kenora. “It’s pretty raw for the family.”

Innard said Kropioski, 98, known affectionately by Jets fans as Kroppy, died about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday at the Kenora personal care home where he lived.

“He’s been sick since last December,” Innard said.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/9/2016 (820 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Len Kropioski, famous for his salute during the singing of O Canada at Winnipeg Jets games, has died at age 98, his granddaughter confirmed late Tuesday.

"It’s been a tough day," said Kim Innard of Kenora. "It’s pretty raw for the family."

Innard said Kropioski, 98, known affectionately by Jets fans as Kroppy, died about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday at the Kenora personal care home where he lived.

"He’s been sick since last December," Innard said.

The Jets and True North Sports and Entertainment said they are looking at ways to honour Kropioski at their first home game of the season on Oct. 13 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets were greatly saddened when we learned yesterday afternoon of Len Kropioski’s passing," the organization said in a statement. 

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Second World War veteran Len Kropioski salutes and sings the anthem at a Winnipeg Jets game in 2012.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Second World War veteran Len Kropioski salutes and sings the anthem at a Winnipeg Jets game in 2012.

"‘Kroppy’ was the consummate hockey fan and his support of the team and the organization has always been genuine and pure, dating back to our time in the American Hockey League. His devotion to make the two-hour trip from Kenora to always ensure he was in his front row seat in time for the anthems demonstrated how passionate Winnipeg Jets fans can be.

Kroppy had a tremendous impact on the organization, particularly those who interacted with him and came to know his family well. He will be missed." 

Kropioski was almost always shown on the scoreboard standing at attention and saluting his country at the end of O Canada, to the loud cheers of fans at the MTS Centre.

He was hospitalized earlier this year in Kenora.

"He’s stable but he’s working very hard," Innard told the Free Press in March.

"His intention is to be at the Jets game on March 30. He has signed up (for his season tickets) for the next five years," she said.

Kropioski had a long history of cheering on teams in his hometown. Not only was he a season-ticket holder with the old Manitoba Moose but he was a regular at Winnipeg Jets 1.0 games at the old Winnipeg Arena. In the early 1970s, when the Jets were new in Winnipeg, Kropioski knew the team’s owner, Ben Hatskin — they went to St. John’s Technical High School together — and the team’s assistant coach, Nick Mickoski.

 

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History

Updated on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:23 PM CDT: story updated

10:26 PM: fixed typo

10:42 PM: added video link

10:46 PM: link added story updated

10:51 PM: updated

11:02 PM: minor edit

11:28 PM: added better photo

September 14, 2016 at 10:10 AM: Adds statement from True North.

11:33 AM: storify added.

12:02 PM: Headline fix

3:49 PM: minor typo in cutline

8:02 PM: improve web headline

8:04 PM: better web headline

8:09 PM: improve web headline

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