Mary Ellen was born in Evanston, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1929. She was the fourth born out of five to James and Olive Copeland. She became a bride when she married Jim Stempel in 1950 and became a mother to her daughter, Debbie, in 1951. Mary worked in a variety of occupations from telephone operator, to making sandwiches for Sara Lee's vending machines, to being a Jewel Food Store checker to being a Nurse's Aide. The last occupation spurred her to go back to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and she graduated in 1967. She moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to be near her family when her marriage ended in 1968. She joined The New Apostolic Church in 1971. She worked as a Private Duty Nurse for many years. She later retired and moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 2006, to be closer to her family there. She made many friends in her apartment complex where she lived and at her Church in Portage, where she was a member for an additional 14 years. Mary loved cooking after she retired. She would make dishes to share with her friends. A couple of her favorite desserts were tiramisu and lemon bars. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her two older brothers, Jim & Bill, her older sister, Laura Jane and baby sister, Emma Lou and her late husband, John Greer. She leaves behind her daughter, Debbie (Bob) Kucinski, two Grandsons, Jonathan (Jordan) Kucinski and Matthew (Stephanie) Kucinski along with seven great-grandchildren; Nora, Nena, Callum, Bennett, Caleb, Hudson, and Brooks, along with two special nieces, Christy Copeland and Cindy Copeland-Larson. She also leaves two especially close friends, Rene Crowe and Lois Phelps.
The family wants to thank Bronson Commons and Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan for the attentive care they gave my mother to keep her comfortable until she joined Jesus in Heaven on April 29, 2021. Nurse Larry, from Hospice, kept us informed on her health and showed so much compassion! Nurses Jennifer and Sunny kept close watch on her to keep her comfortable and, at the end, held the phone to her ear, so I could tell her how much she was loved. Thank You! My mother will be missed. She was one of a kind.
There will be a private Memorial Service for Mary at a later date. She will be put to rest at Ft. Custer in Battle Creek. In lieu of flowers, please send any memorial contributions to Southwest Michigan Hospice Care at 7100 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo, MI 49009 or New Apostolic Church 3600 W. Milham Rd, Portage, MI 49024
Please visit Mary's webpage to sign her online guest book or to leave a condolence at https://www.langelands.com