Mary M. Hopfensperger

April 9, 1921 ~ February 14, 2019 (age 97)

Mary M. Hopfensperger of Kaukauna rejoined the love of her life on Valentine’s Day. She won the lottery of life, passing away 97 years young. She was born with a twin sister on April 9, 1921, to a farming family in Mackville. Mary would spend the rest of her life on a farm, falling head over heels for a farmer who whisked her off her feet on the dance floor.  On October 11, 1941, she married Earl Hopfensperger at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Mackville and planted roots in the Darboy area where they would spend the rest of their married lives.


Mary loved her life working alongside her husband on the farm and caring for the family they built together. She was a talented seamstress and organist, volunteering for over 50 years in the choir at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Darboy. She and Earl were known to attend Sunday mass in coordinating attire; Earl’s tie and handkerchief would match the color of her dress. She also loved caring for animals and had a lifetime of dogs and cats in her home. Her recipe for longevity included devotion to God, spending time with her family, a daily shot of fine liquor, nylons, keeping secrets, dancing, wearing the collection of jewelry from Earl (mostly all at the same time), and slots at the casino. Because according to Mary, you never win if you don’t play.


Mary is survived by her children: John “Jack” Hopfensperger of Sherwood, Ralph (Sue) Hopfensperger of Kaukauna, Marilyn (Alan) Portman of Little Chute, and Suzanne “Suzie” (Kurt) Weyers of DePere; sons-in-law: Jim Steger of Appleton and Dan (Sandra Kuhn) Vanevenhoven of Little Chute; grandchildren: Judy (Jim) Thomas, Brian (Mary) Hopfensperger, Donna (Rick) Merckx, John (Julie) Hopfensperger, Ken (Andrea) Van Rossum, Kris (Brian) Seidl, Kim (Denise Brandow) Van Rossum, Heidi Hopfensperger, Jennifer (Matthew) Binsfeld, Stephanie (Eric) Van Handel, Nicole (Brandon) Smith, Amy (Scott) Janssen, Aaron (Nicole) Portman, Leah (Nick) Rogneby, Olivia Weyers, Sheila (Ross) Van Handel, Mickey (Carrie Williams) Steger, Scott (Becky) Vanevenhoven, Todd (Althea) Vanevenhoven; 36 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Anne (Sturm) Streigel; twin sister Martha Mary at birth; her husband, Earl; a daughter at birth, Mary Martha Hopfensperger; daughters: Geraldine “Gerri” Steger and Martha Vanevenhoven; daughter- in-Law Lyn Hopfensperger; siblings: Bob (Dorothy) Striegel and Estelle (Florian) Moehring.


A private family service and burial will be held at Holy Spirit Parish-Holy Angels Church, Darboy. For online condolences, please visit

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