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This site was created to honor Marie Kopecky Johnson for her service to our country...

May 27, 2018
May 27, 2018
Thank you Mom for the courage and compassion you displayed throughout your entire life.

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Recent Tributes
May 27, 2018
May 27, 2018
Thank you Mom for the courage and compassion you displayed throughout your entire life.
Her Life
June 27, 2018

Marie was born on September 5th, 1922 to Bohumil and Anna (Justyn) Kopecky and grew up on a farm outside of Octavia, NE. She was the sixth of seven children and spoke about having to share chores and beds and clothes and even bath water--“Everything. Back then we just shared everything.” Marie attended Marietta Catholic School and graduated in 1940. She then attended nursing school at St. Catherine’s in Omaha, graduating in 1943 before enlisting in the United States Army. She went through basic training in Santa Anna, CA before being called upon to serve in WWII in the Army Nurse Corp. Marie was stationed in both Guam and Tokyo and would speak about caring for the wounded soldiers and “how much those kids suffered” with no acknowledgement of the fact that she was just a kid herself. Marie completed her service in 1946 as a First Lieutenant.

Marie met her husband, Harry John Johnson, at a dance at the Schuyler Ballroom and only agreed to dance with him because he wasn’t short! They married on November 18th, 1948 at Presentation Marietta Catholic Church outside of Bellwood, NE. They then opened Johnson Farm Equipment in North Bend, NE in 1950 and bought a house there just before Christmas in 1951. It was in this house that they raised their four children, Galen Lee, Rodney Allen, Thomas Jeffrey and Rita Marie. Harry passed away on April 12th, 1980, and no doubt was first in line to welcome his sweet Marie to her new home in heaven. There she also joins her parents, all of her siblings, a grandson, Zeth Michael and many other family and friends.

Marie’s children all went on to marry—Galen to JoAnn, Rodney to Nancy, Tom to Marlene and Rita to Michael. This gave way to Marie becoming a Grandma—a role she cherished more than anything. She had sixteen grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. And what a Granny she was! It was rare that you ever saw Marie without one of her grandkids in tow. She spoiled them with love and Pop-Tarts and attention and the occasional $10 bill.

There were many things Marie loved in life, foremost being God, Country and Family. She also loved raisin toast, flowers, sweatshirts with birds on them, polka music, playing cards with her friends, writing letters, Benny Hill, kolaches, going on drives in the country and the harmonica. Yes, Marie played the harmonica!

Marie was a long-time member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Bend, a member of the Veterans of Foreign War and honored as a 50-year member of the American Legion. She has received special recognition from the Chamber of Commerce, St. Catherine’s School of Nursing and was recently featured in Forever Heroes, a book written by Joyce Winfield that shared WWII stories from Nebraska Veterans.

Recent stories

First Lieutenant

May 28, 2018

Mom's last assignment overseas was at the 27th General Hospital in Tokyo. It was during her time there that she was promoted to First Lieutenant.

St. Catherine's

May 28, 2018

Although Mom originally planned to be a teacher, her sister Ann convinced her to switch to nursing. She graduated from St. Catherine's School of Nursing in 1944 and decided, along with fellow graduate Kathy Meehn, to join the Army Nurse Corp. Unfortunately the two did not end up in the same location. Katy was sent to Alaska while Mom was sent to Guam.

A note from Katy

May 28, 2018

While Mom was working at DeWitt General Hospital waiting to ship out to Guam, she received this note from her friend Lt. Lucille 'Katy' Kaltefleiter in Seattle.

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