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