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Colorado Springs career firefighter dies after battling COVID-19

William Sopp. Photo courtesy of Patricia Sopp.
William Sopp. Photo courtesy of Patricia Sopp.(Courtesy: Patricia Sopp)
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 2:25 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Retired firefighter William Sopp passed away at the age of 73 after a brief battle with COVID-19. He worked with the Colorado Springs Fire Department for 32 years before retiring in 2000 as a battalion chief on the force.

Sopp joined the Colorado Springs Fire Department at the age of 21, and at 27, was one of the youngest fire captains in the department.

According to 11 News partner, The Gazette, Sopp developed Parkinson’s disease and had started having memory issues. In December, he moved to a rehab facility to help regain his strength. He contracted the novel coronavirus while in the facility, and died three days after being diagnosed.

Sopp’s family says that only his adult son was allowed to gear up in full protective equipment to spend time with him in the COVID-19 wing of the hospital.

During his last days, Sopp’s wife, Patricia, would video call with him, but she says he was often confused.

Patricia and William remarried three years ago after reconnecting on Facebook. They had been married in their 20s before divorcing.

Sopp had been married two other times and had five daughters and one son. His daughter, Juliet Keys, grew up watching her father as a firefighter and later became one herself. She and her father spent nine years together at the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Keys had a 27-year career on the force and retired in 2019.

Click here to read more from William Sopp’s family, and an in-depth profile as part of The Gazette’s “Lives Lost” series.

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