December 24, 1943 - August 8, 2017
Theodore R. 'Ted' Koperski, age 73, died Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at dawn after battling GBM cancer on three fronts. He returned to the southwest Lincoln home he shared with his wife, Muggs (Margaret), on Monday evening. The local contingent of their blended family gathered in prayer around Ted's bedside as Rev. Douglas Dietrich celebrated Holy Mass.
Ted was born at home on December 24, 1943, the seventh child of his parents, John and Rose Robak Koperski, in Farwell, where they farmed. He attended country school and St. Anthony grade school, graduated from Farwell High. He earned his bachelor's degree from Kearney State College, and later received his master's degree in earth science from the University of Oklahoma at Stillwater.
He married Patricia Pruss in 1966. Their marriage of 44 1/2 years produced a family of five children: Thomas, David, Dan, Jenny and James. Ted taught high school science in both Grand Island and Waverly. He then began his 40-year career with the State of Nebraska, working first for the Department of Health and then at the Department of Motor Vehicles. His area of expertise was alcohol testing. His responsibilities included teaching law enforcement officers proper testing techniques, calibrating and servicing the equipment. He also served as an expert witness for the prosecution in court cases. In this way, he helped assure safety for all travelers.
Ted's path led him to Muggs, who had been widowed by the death of Stephen Bonnett for three years. They were joined in marriage on March 10, 2012. Ted and Pat's five children, spouses and their children were added to those of Muggs and Steve, creating an even larger family circle of love. Ted demonstrated his love of God by using his early farm life, formal education, and artistic talent in producing beauty in the landscape. He 'painted with his shovel.' He hybridized trees, tomatoes and his favorite sweet peppers. He shared the fruits of his labors with the Catholic Retreat Center at Waverly, North American Martyrs Parish, and the Marion Sisters for 25 years, as well as neighbors, friends, and caregivers.
Ted is survived by wife, Margaret 'Muggs' Bonnett Koperski; children and spouses, Thomas Koperski of Lincoln; David (Lisa) Koperski of Lincoln; Dan Koperski (Gary Lorentzen) of Portland, Oregon; Jenny (Josh) Hoschied of Royce City, Texas; James Koperski of Las Vegas; step-children, Ayndrea (David) Cannon and Jordan (Kelsey) Bonnett; nine grandchildren, Juliana, Dominic, Lydia and Aiden Koperski, Alyssa and Lucas Hoschied, Elias Cannon, Logan and Liam Bonnett; siblings, Pete Koperski (Dolores Mc Donnell), Agnes (Ron) Lewandowski, Henry (Rose) Koperski, JoAnn (Justin) Kuszak, John (Jan) Koperski, Ben (Mary) Koperski, Marie (Daryl) Platek, Sally (Tom) Mudloff; brother-in-law, Maurice Fletcher, as well as many nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Patricia; and sisters, Frances Kush and DeLores Fletcher.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 12, at St Mary's Catholic Church, 1420 K St, in Lincoln, with Rev. Douglas Dietrich and Rev. Matthew Koperski concelebrating. Visitation will be from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, with family receiving friends from 5-7 p.m. at Butherus Maser and Love Funeral Home, 4040 A St. Rosary at 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Catholic Social Services, Matt Talbott Kitchen and Outreach, or St. Mary's School Guardian Angel Fund. www.bmlfh.com.