Mary Joan Kopacz
Mary Joan Kopacz (August 9, 2013)
Our stunning and beloved mother, wife, grandmother, sister, aunt, boss lady, Gran-Ma K and fun-loving friend passed away peacefully on August 3, 2013. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 20, 1921 to John and Nellie Klock, the third youngest child of nine. Mary married the love of her life and a very tall and handsome soulmate, Henry A. Kopacz on May 6, 1944. Hank and Mary resided in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for almost 30 years and made Long Beach Island, New Jersey their permanent residence in 2003. Side by side, in 1964 they founded their very successful company, Creative Book Manufacturing, Inc. The Kopacz Building is located at Broad and Callowhill Streets today. Mary donated the use of the side of the building that proudly hosts one of the citie’s famous murals and depicts the 95th anniversity of The Girl Scouts. Mary has two wonderful daughters, Patti and Ginni, who both graduated from The Pennsylvania State University. Patti began working at the company in 1974 but Mary took great pride when Patti took over as president of the company in 1986. Patricia lives in south Jersey and has a son Scott Michael Foley who graduated from Friends Select School in Philadelphia and is pursuing a career in the medical field at Castleton State College in Vermont. Mary was so proud that Scott became a certified EMT in the summer of 2011. Her daughter Ginni moved to California in 1981, getting her real estate license and has been involved with fundraising efforts for many charities. Ginni has been on the Parent Council Board at University of Southern California for five years and was President of the Carousel Guild of the Orange County Performing Arts Center for ten years.
Mary especially loved Childhelp, a charity that helps neglected and abused children. Mary supported and attended many Childhelp events with her husband for the past 27 years.
Ginni is married to Kent R. Valley, Sr. VP of Majestic Realty Co. and has two children Kyle Kopacz Valley and Kelsey Joan Valley who graduated from Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar. Mary and her husband would fly out to attend the HDS Grandparents Day event every year for 14 years. Their grandchildren were very involved in many activities so Mary and Hank would fly back and forth and soon became bi-coastal parents. Mary loved watching the swarm-ball soccer games, driving to early morning regattas, volleyball games, golf tournaments and baseball games they were involved in at Santa Margarita Catholic High School and Mater Dei High School. She was very very proud of her three amazing grandchildren. She was so happy to have been able to attend Kyle’s graduation from USC in 2009. Mary loved keeping up with her grand-daughter’s sports marketing curriculum at Columbia College in Chicago. Mary adored Kent and considered him part of the family since they met 30 years ago. She considered him the son she never had and Henry felt the same.
Even though Mary could not swim she was a great first – mate. Mary and Hank spent their summers on their boat “Baby Doll” docked behind their homes in Beach Haven, New Jersey. Fishing and boating was a favorite pastime for the family. They cruised up and down the coast with the Delaware River Power Squadron many times. Hank and Mary were inseparable. They did everything together, even having open -heart bi-pass surgery 3 weeks apart in 1996. The Catholic Church was a wonderful part of their lives and attending mid-night mass at Christmas, a time honored tradition. Mary loved attending and watching Nittany Lion Football and her Philadelphia teams and enjoyed her season Phillies tickets with the family for many years, especially the World Series in 1980. She knew her baseball. Eventually getting to know the Los Angeles Angels Baseball team as well. Mary was loving and happy and cared about people. She wore many hats and was eventually dubbed, The Hat Lady! She also wore Revlon “love-that-red” lipstick her entire adult life! Most often she would leave a perfect lipstick kiss on your cheek after greeting you. Mary was cherished by so many. Her smile was infectious and her heart was good. Her morals and her values never waivered and her love for her family was extraordinary. But her love for Henry was unparalleled. Mary will be sorely missed and the world is a better place with her legacy she has left of love and laughter and her true American Romance Story!
Mass for Mary will be held on Saturday, August 10, at 11:00 am at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach. Immediately following the service will be a “Celebration of Life with Kisses” brunch at The Balboa Bay Club and Resort in the Bayview Room.
There will be a private entombment at a later date at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar where she will be laid to rest with her beloved Hank.
In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be made to the Orange County Chapter of Childhelp, P.O. Box 2954 Newport Beach, Ca 92659.