This is written with a heavy heart. Mary Kopas passed away at her home in Moyie Springs, Idaho, on the night of Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. She was 64 years old.
Mary was born in 1953 in rural Wisconsin and was raised with five older brothers and a younger sister. In 1990, Mary relocated with her family to put down roots in North Idaho. Her door was always open and all were welcomed to her table. As a result, her home was regularly bustling with life, love, and laughter. Mary was a lifelong compassionate caregiver to people and animals. Her kindness and generosity are unparalleled and these attributes had a transformative impact on the lives of countless young people, and a great many came to know her as “Mom.”
In addition to her warmth and kindness, Mary was an incredible performer. Her stage was typically a circle of chairs around which she captivated many an audience. Brimming with humor, her stories are often believed to be tall tales, although a surprising number have actually been corroborated by her siblings. Mary was often silly and had the ability to find fun and absurdity in the mundane, which made for a wealth of unique and memorable experiences shared with those around her. Under the surface, Mary reserved a profound strength that was brought to bear when needed by her friends and family. Mary was a truly beautiful person and will be missed tremendously.
A ceremony and services will be held in the springtime.
Mary is survived by her husband David Kopas; daughter Emily Smedley; sons Wade Young-Jelinek, Joe Schierholt, Ethan Jelinek, Anton Kopas, and many foster children; grandchildren Ayla Jelinek, Adria Jelinek, Cadean Smedley, Aslynn Smedley, Deven Kopas, Leanah Kopas and Eva Young-Jelinek; sister Chris Kutz; and brothers Edward Sigmund and Jeff Sigmund. Mary was preceded in death by her son Amos Kopas; brothers Larry Sigmund, Troy Sigmund, Greg Sigmund; parents Edward and Dolores Sigmund.