Cover photo for Marcella R. Umphress Koperski's Obituary
Marcella R. Umphress Koperski Profile Photo
1924 Marcella 2010

Marcella R. Umphress Koperski

December 1, 1924 — June 7, 2010

Marcella R. Umphress Koperski, 85, of Elba, died Monday, June 7, 2010, at the Heritage Living Center in St. Paul. Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elba. The Rev. Ray Kosmicki will officiate. Burial will be in the St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Elba. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a 6 p.m. vigil service at Peters Funeral Home in St. Paul. Marcella was born on Dec. 1, 1924, at Paplin, the daughter of Stanley P. and Constance F. (Mendyk) Kuszak. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jewel W. “Jake” Umphress and Harry F. Koperski. She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and Dennis Stark and Bonita “Bonnie” and Dennis Kennedy, all of Grand Island; one son, Walter “Butch” Umphress of Elba; two sisters and three brothers-in-law, Regene and Derrel Porter of Elba, Mary Lou and Delphie Pokorski of Prescott Valley, AZ, and Chuck Ryan of Elba. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Patricia Zinge of Clearwater, FL. She grew up near Paplin and attended Howard County rural schools. As a young woman she worked at the Cornhusker Army Ammunitions Plant in Grand Island and later moved with her sister, Pat to California. She worked at a soda shop called “The Squirrel Cage” where she met Jewel “Jake” Umphress. They were united in marriage on April 26, 1943, in Los Angeles. The couple first lived in LA. In 1945, they moved to the Paplin and Elba area and later operated the Dannevirke Store. In 1964, they moved into Elba, where she began working as a cook for the Elba Public Schools, a job which she held for many years. Jake died on March 19, 1977. She was united in marriage to Harry F. Koperski on Feb. 14, 1981, at Ashton. The couple lived in Elba where she continued to cook at the schools until her retirement. She then babysat in her home for several years. Harry died on Sept. 20, 2009. Marcella moved to Heritage Living Center in August 2009, where she lived the rest of her life. She was a longtime member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Council of Catholic Women and the DCCW. She enjoyed polka music and dancing, and flowers and loved having her grandchildren come stay with her. In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Mike Umphress; twin infant daughters, Mary and Marie Umphress; infant grandson, Tony Umphress; her sister, Sabine “Pat” Ryan; and a brother, Eugene Kuszak. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St Joseph’s Catholic Church or Cemetery.
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