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obit: Gloria Schoppe Kocurek

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  • Rosemary Ermis
    Funeral services for Gloria Schoppe Kocurek, 80, of Bryan are scheduled for 2:00 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Reverend John
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2012
      Funeral services for Gloria Schoppe Kocurek, 80, of Bryan are scheduled for 2:00 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Reverend John McCaffrey officiating. Burial will be in the Mount Calvary Cemetery under the direction of Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan. Visitation will be Saturday, February 12, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Memorial Funeral Chapel, Bryan, with a rosary at 7:00 pm.
      Born on September 15, 1930 in Goose Creek, Texas, Gloria passed away in Bryan on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, surrounded by her children and family, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's.
      Her parents moved the family from Goose Creek to Caldwell, Texas, where she attended Caldwell High School. In her senior year, Gloria was the drum major of the Caldwell Hornet Marching Band, an accomplishment of which she was extremely proud for the rest of her life. Highlighting the year was an appearance in the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo Parade in 1948.
      On May 16, 1946, Gloria met the man of her dreams, Ed Kocurek, at a dance at the SPJST Lodge in Snook, Texas. After dating for three years, Gloria and Ed married on May 18, 1949, and moved to Bryan, Texas, where they were happily married for 55 years. After 13 years devoted to raising four children, Gloria worked at Kazmier Hatchery for several years, before beginning a long and satisfying career as the Payroll Supervisor for Bryan ISD. She loved her job and all the people with whom she worked over the years. After her retirement in 1989, she and Ed enjoyed extensive traveling, including a lifelong dream of visiting her childhood pen pal, Phyllis Earle, in London, England.
      For all of her life, Gloria loved music and dancing. She played clarinet in high school and piano for almost all of her life. Dancing was her greatest love, and she and Ed danced in countless dance halls over the years. In their wedding book, Ed described Gloria as "very much in demand as a dancing partner" and she taught many a young man to dance in her younger years. In addition to dance halls, Gloria danced in the kitchen, in the living room, and in any other room of the house when a good song came on the radio. She danced by herself or with anyone who would join her. In particular, she loved a good waltz, but any good song would do!
      Gloria passed on her love of music to her children, and was the driving force behind the creation of their family band, The Rhythm Tones. From 1968 through 1972, Gloria and Ed managed and chaperoned the band as they played polkas, waltzes, and country favorites in SPJST and other dance halls around the greater Brazos and Burleson county areas. Her post-dance breakfasts at the family home were legendary and lasted until the wee hours of the morning, attended by both family and friends.
      Gloria and her husband Ed were devoted Catholics and long-time members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bryan. She also belonged to the KJZT, Altar Society, Women's Guild and the Church choir for many years. During the time that Gloria and Ed resided at St. Joseph Manor, she delighted the other residents with her impromptu piano concerts and was even featured in a television commercial for The Manor.
      Gloria's children, and later her grandchildren, were the greatest joys of her life. She is survived by four children and their spouses: daughters Marilyn Nelson and husband Greg of Pearland, Deborah Wetterstroem and husband Al of League City, Karen Boone and husband Glenn of Bryan, and son Ed Kocurek Jr. and wife Karen of Houston; seven grandchildren: Amanda Pederson and husband Paul of Frisco, Ryan Landrum and wife Pam of Houston, Justin Boone of Houston, Nathan Boone of Bryan, Lauren Lindsey and husband Allen of Hilltop Lakes, Jacob Kocurek of Houston, and Brandon Kocurek of Houston. Gloria is also survived by four sisters and one brother: Geraldine Pivonka and husband Herbert of Caldwell, Barbara Shenkir and husband I.J. of Bryan, Mary Jo Mosser and husband Leo of San Antonio, Margaret Joy Turman of Houston, and Donald Schoppe of Houston.
      Gloria was preceded in death by her husband Edward G. Kocurek; parents, Lee V. and Emily Schoppe, and great grandson, Cameron Boone.
      The family would like to convey their heartfelt thanks to St. Joseph Manor Assisted Living and Alzheimer Unit for the enormous love and tender care they showed to Gloria and the family over the past eight years. We would also like to thank Hospice Brazos Valley and Home Instead Senior Care for compassionate end-of-life support.
      In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation for the Alzheimer Unit, 2801 Franciscan Drive, Bryan, Texas, 77802; or Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 West 26th Street, Bryan, Texas, 77803.
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