SEVEN HILLS, Ohio - Family and friends gathered Friday evening to remember Joseph Kopp, whose body was discovered last week.
The visitation, which was held at the Donald A. Faulhaber Funeral Home, brought people together to remember the life of the 58-year-old homeless man. Kopp was known throughout the community.
Seven Hills police said Kopp's body was found in the backyard of Frank and Charlya Dienes last weekend. Frank Dienes, 44, has since been charged with murder and tampering with evidence. His attorney maintains his innocence and his wife has not been charged.
According to police, Kopp had been living in the garage of the couple's Oakwood Drive home after being estranged from his family for years.
"They initially felt they wanted to provide a place for him. He was living in their garage," Joseph's brother, Paul Kopp, told NewsChannel5 on Monday. "They were holding out a hand to him and things got a little out of hand."
Throughout this week, people honored Kopp during vigils in front of the Walgreens at Pleasant Valley and Broadview in Seven Hills. A makeshift memorial at the site is filled with flowers, balloons, and some of Kopp's favorite things. "We'll miss him," Seven Hills resident Ed Majeski said.
Kopp was a regular at the stores and fast food restaurants along Broadview Road. Many put up signs in his memory. "He would just plop his bag down, whatever he had with him, eat his hot dogs and just hang out," Dairy Queen manager Madeline Suchy said. "If we needed help, he was always willing to sweep up if there was a mess. It's gonna be different without him hanging out up here. It's gonna be different."
Ed Majeski said Kopp was the first person to welcome him to Seven Hills 30 years ago. "From that time on he was always like part of the family," he said, "always stop and say hi, always jolly, always feeling good, never felt sorry for himself. He was just a good person."
A funeral for Kopp will be held at the St. Columbkille Church, at 6740 Broadview Road, in Cleveland on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.