Mary G. Coppersmith, 89

Mary G. Coppersmith, nee Gagliano, died on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at the Health Care Center of Cedar Community at the age of 89 years. She was born on Sept. 15, 1923, in Milwaukee to the late Francesco and Eleanora Gagliano.

As a child, the family moved to Massachusetts. After graduating from high school, Mary returned to Wisconsin, settling in Milwaukee where she lived with an uncle. She attended business school and then worked as a secretary. While working at an accounting firm, she met her husband.

On Dec. 2, 1944, she was united in marriage to Francis X. Coppersmith at Holy Angels Church in Milwaukee. Francis predeceased April 16, 1967. After her husband's death, she returned to school, becoming a licensed practical nurse. For many years, she worked for Milwaukee County, including at the former County General Hospital.

In the late 1980s, she retired from the county and then worked part time at various nursing homes in the Milwaukee area. A few years later, she moved to West Bend, settling at Cedar Ridge.

Mary enjoyed volunteering her time reading to the young students at St. Frances Cabrini Grade School. She also donated her time and talents in making rosaries and clothing that would be sent to mission churches in Haiti.

She was an active member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish. Survivors include seven children Barbara (Rex) Rodebush of Galena, Mo., Mary Jo (Douglas) Kirkish of Powell, Ohio, Ronald (Mary) of Menomonee Falls, Susan (Robert) Criss of Sussex, Jeffrey of Brookfield, Ann (Bruce) Santistevan of Peyton, Colo. and Karen (John) DeQuardo of Beulah, Colo.; 14 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; one brother Santo “Joe” Gagliano of New Berlin; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Stephan, her brothers and sisters Nick (Lena) Gagliano, Sally (John) Piscetello, Vincie (Michael) Militello, Rosalie (Joseph) Ciamataro and Anthony (Rosalie) Gagliano, and one sister-in-law, Fay Gagliano.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, May 20 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church with the Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding. Burial will be at 2 p.m. in Holy Cross Cemetery, Milwaukee. The family will greet relatives and friends at the church only on Monday from 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Masses or memorials to the children’s charity of the donor’s choice are appreciated.

The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences available at