Dorothy M. Koprek, age 99, formerly of Gleason, went to her heavenly home on Sunday, May 10, 2020 at Woodland Court in Merrill. She was under the tender care of staff from Woodland Court and Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services. Dorothy Margaret Simon was born on February 11, 1921 to the late Conrad G. and Mathilda (Weisshahn) Simon in their home in the Town of Summit. Dorothy was baptized into the Christian faith on March 6, 1921 and was confirmed into that faith on June 23, 1935 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, also in the Town of Summit. She was a big help on their farm and cared for her younger siblings while they all grew up with the many Simon cousins right up and down the road. After graduating from Antigo High School in June of 1938, Dorothy went on to attend the Langlade County Normal School until graduating in June of 1940 with a teaching degree. Dorothy had a unique talent for teaching, loved children and developed a relationship with so many who admired her teaching long after they left her classroom.
Dorothy began her career by teaching in one-room schools: first at Liberty Bell for five years, then Sunnyslope for two. She met the love of her life at Walther League meetings and she married William Koprek on June 29, 1946. They moved to Wausau and in the fall of 1947, she began teaching at Woodlawn School in the Town of Marathon for 11 years. For a brief time, she worked at Marathon Battery but this interfered with the fishing and camping plans she and Bill had on weekends so when she was offered the job to teach at St. James in Wausau, she signed on and was there for 11 years and then became the building principal for 3 years after. Dorothy became a 4-H Leader for Langlade County, also taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She was also the organist for the Town of Summit Church and took on many responsibilities for the Town of Summit Cemetery, including Secretary- Treasurer for over 24 years, past organizer of the Memorial Day Ceremonies and was actively engaged in caring for the cemetery.
She was a beloved member of Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Gleason, and also was involved in other ministries at Luther Memorial, including past president of the Luther Memorial Ladies Aid, a Quilter, Women’s Bible Study, the Luncheon Ladies and always enjoyed creating and directing the annual Mother & Daughter Banquet for several years. Prior to moving to Gleason, Dorothy was also a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Ladies Aid, Rib Mountain Lutheran Church and the V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary. She was diligent about her responsibilities to any organization in which she participated.
The skills which Dorothy learned in teaching were applied to so many aspects of her life. She had outlines and to-do notes for most of her projects or events. She enjoyed baking, knitting, wood finishing projects, camping, traveling and taking tours but particularly she loved fishing with her husband, Bill. She also had an interest in working with the flowers in her yard, sewing and writing letters. Dorothy had a strong faith in God and would instill that faith in people around her. She was a loving and caring woman that will be dearly missed and forever remembered.
Dorothy is survived by her sister: Helen (Earl) Kressel from Gleason. The two of them had a very close relationship from their early childhood and it became closer when Dorothy and Bill moved back to Gleason in May of 1979. Aunt Dorothy is also survived by many, many nieces and nephews, grand and great nieces and nephews from both the Koprek and Simon families. She was preceded in death by her parents, her endearing husband: William, a sister: Ruth Simon and her three brothers, Henry, Carl and Paul Simon.
A drive-thru public visitation for Dorothy will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill from 3:00pm-5:30pm. Please enter the south driveway of the funeral home, coming from Highway 64. Instructions will be given upon arrival to the funeral home. A private service for limited family will follow. Rev. Gregory Laska will officiate. A private interment will take place in the Town of Summit Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Dorothy desired memorials to be provided to Luther Memorial Lutheran Church and Bethesda Lutheran Communities.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com. This service will be live streamed and recorded for public viewing.