Obituary

Sister Jeanette  Kopel
Sister Jeanette Kopel

September 26, 1933 - March 26, 2024
Born in Haverhill, IA
Resided in Johnston, IA
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Obituary

Sister Jeanette Kopel, CHM, 90, died early in the morning of March 26, 2024, at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston, Iowa. Private memorial services will take place on Tuesday, April 2, at Bishop Drumm Queen of Peace Chapel at 4 p.m. and at Humility of Mary Center, Magnificat Chapel, Davenport, Iowa, with a rosary at 4 p.m. and Memorial Vigil Service at 7 p.m.

Jeanette Angeline Kopel was born September 26, 1933, in Haverhill, Iowa, to Wilbert and Celestine (Neuroth) Kopel. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1954 and professed vows as Sister Mary René in 1956.

Sister’s formal education spanned 40 years after being named both homecoming queen and valedictorian of the Class of 1951 at St. Mary High School, Marshalltown, Iowa. She completed degrees in Home Economics from Ottumwa Heights College in 1953 and Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, in 1957, an MS in Library Science from the University of Ill. in 1972, and an MA in Religious Studies from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas, in 1991. She earned permanent professional teacher certificates from the states of Iowa in 1972 and Texas in 1983. In addition to these programs, she steadily completed workshops and certificate programs from 1965-2001 in diverse subjects, including art, computer literacy, Couples Communication, psychology, computers and education, and literacy. Sister also was certified for Catechist Formation by the Calif. Catholic Conference in 1981, Ministry to the Elderly by the Diocese of San Bernardino in 1981, church building and ministry to families with adolescents from Incarnate Word College in 1988 and 1990, and Ministry and Leadership Formation by the Diocese of San Angelo in 1991.

After professing vows, Sister Jeanette began a long career in education. From 1957-1970, she was a teacher at St. Joseph in Dunlap, Ill., Catholic Central in Great Falls, Mont., a teacher/librarian at St. Leo High School in Lewistown, Mont., and St. Albert in Council Bluffs, Iowa. From 1970-1972, she attended the University of Illinois at Champaign, and then from 1974-1982, served as a school librarian for Regina HS in Iowa City, Iowa City Catholic School, and St. Catherine School in Riverside, Calif. From 1982-2001, she served in Midland, Texas, as a teacher, librarian, and computer professional for St. Ann School and as a volunteer coordinator at the Recording Library for the Blind and Handicapped (now known as the Recording Library of West Texas). In 2001, she moved to the Quad Cities Humility of Mary Center and volunteered as a reader recorder for the Iowa Department of the Blind.

Sister was a life member of the American Association of University Women and a member of Beta Phi Mu, the International Library Science Honor Society. From 1977-1979, she served as a regional representative for the Diocese of Davenport’s Sisters Council.

Sister Jeanette’s transition from teacher to librarian and finally book recording underscored her courage and deep commitment to lifelong learning. Early in her teaching career, she was diagnosed with MS. In situations where her health dictated leaving her current work, rather than slowing down, she adapted to the new challenges and continued on her path with a new method. For her contributions to accessible library services, she was awarded an Appreciation for Outstanding Service by the Texas State Library in 1993, the Governor’s Volunteer Award by the State of Iowa in 2002, a Certificate of Recognition by the State of Iowa in 2008, and the Florence Grannis Library Service Award by the Iowa Department for the Blind in 2009. Alongside these awards and recognitions, she also kept the Certificate of Appreciation presented to her in 1986 by the Sixth Grade Class at St. Ann School, Midland, Texas.

Sister Jeanette is preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, Luella Lundgren, Dorothy Atkinson and Sister Barbara Kopel, CHM, and one brother, Eldon. She is survived by sisters, Isabelle (Richard) Kasel, and Kathleen (John) Carrithers, and by brother James, many nieces and nephews and her CHM community.

Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.

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Services

Memorial Vespers
Our Lady of Peace Chapel at Bishop Drumm
5837 Winwood Drive
Johnston, IA US 50131
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
4:00 PM
Rosary
Magnificat Chapel, Humility of Mary Center
820 W. Central Park Avenue
Davenport, IA US 52804
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
4:00 PM
Memorial Vigil Service
Magnificat Chapel, Humility of Mary Center
820 W. Central Park Avenue
Davenport, IA US 52804
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
7:00 PM