Mary Ann (Smoldt) Sopkowiak, age 66, of Glencoe, passed away from cancer Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at her home, surrounded by friends and family.
She was born Feb. 14, 1951, in Akeley, to Louis and Della (Haag) Smoldt. Mary was baptized Feb. 10, 1958, by the Rev. W. A. Koch at her home; and confirmed in her faith April 11, 1965, with the Rev. Theo Myers officiating, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.
Mary joined the First Congregational Church of Glencoe in 1983. She was baptized by immersion at Berean Baptist Church April 30, 2006, and was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Glencoe at the time of her death.
She attended grade school through sixth grade in Plato, then attended Glencoe public schools and graduated from Glencoe High School in 1969. Mary also attended Ridgewater College in Hutchinson to become a nursing assistant in 2001, and a trained medical assistant in 2004.
Mary lived in Akeley as an infant, in Plato until 1969, and Lester Prairie until 1971.
She was united in marriage with Roger Sopkowiak March 21, 1970, by the Rev. Michael Skoblek at the Church of St. Joseph in Silver Lake. This marriage was blessed with one son, Tom.
While Roger was in the Navy, the couple lived in Williamsburg, VA, eventually returning to Minnesota and residing in Glencoe.
Mary was employed at Telex from 1969 to 1980, Starkey Labs from 1980 to 2001, Waconia Good Samaritan Homes from 2001 to 2004, Glencoe Regional Health Services from 2004 to 2005, and Westview Acres Assisted Living in Waconia until 2017.
She treasured the time she spent with family and friends, camping, campfires, fishing, hunting, and gathering for the holidays. She also enjoyed karate, running, and reading.
Mary is survived by her husband, Roger Sopkowiak of Glencoe; son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Sara Sopkowiak of Hector; siblings Ruth (Earl) Richter of Annandale, Louis (Mary) Smoldt of Glencoe, Charles (Jeanie) Smoldt of Cokato, and Hazel (David) Bishop of Glencoe; half-siblings Lorraine (Roger) Frey of Avon, SD, Evangelynn Anderson of Apple Valley, Leonard (Colleen) Baltus of Garrison, ND, Marlene (Patrick) Howe of Buffalo, and Darlene (John) Malech of Coon Rapids: brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jerry Nelson of Mayer, and Ruth Smoldt of Glencoe; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; father-and mother-in-law, Warren and Sophie Sopkowiak; brother, Herbert Smoldt; sister, Carmen Nelson; half siblings, Viola Jackson, Richard Smoldt, Gladys Berg, Russell Smoldt, Ronald Smoldt, Betty Grant, Robert Smoldt, Edna Stueber, and Delbert Baltus; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Ronald and Mary Lou Sopkowiak, and Jane and Ed Yurek.
Memorial services took place Monday, Aug. 28 at Christ Lutheran Church in Glencoe, with the Rev. Katherine Rood officiating. Twyla Kirkeby was the pianist, and instrumentalist Tammy Bishop performed “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “If You Could See Me Now.” Congregational hymns were “How Great Thou Art,” “Softly & Tenderly,” and “Because He Lives.” Private interment will take place at a later date.
Honorary urn bearers were Brian Richter, Danny Bishop, Chachi Smoldt, Shane Guptil, Mike Sopkowiak, Tony Sopkowiak, and Dean Sopkowiak.
There was visitation Sunday, Aug. 27 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church.
Arrangements were with Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel in Glencoe.