Clara Stopak, 89, of Le Mars, died Sunday, Oct. 31, 2004, at the Sunrise Retirement Community in Sioux City.
The former Clara Smolen was born Sept. 20, 1915, at Greeley, Neb., the first child of Thomas and Josephine (Pier) Smolen. Clara married Steve Stopak on July 26, 1942 in Phoenix, Ariz. The couple served their country during World War II. Her husband Steve was a pilot, flying a P47, and Clara was a registered nurse in the Army Nurse Corps. After the war the couple made their home in Omaha, Neb., where she worked as a registered nurse. From 1954 to 1958 they lived in Columbus, Neb. They moved to Le Mars in 1958. Her husband Steve died May 29, 1978. Clara had moved from Le Mars to Sioux City in 2001.
Mrs. Stopak was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the Christian Mothers Society, and the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241.
Survivors include her three children, Stephennie Ann and her husband, Dr. Julian Freeman, M.D., of Highland Park, Ill., Stewart J. Stopak and his wife, Suzanne, of Flower Mound, Texas, and Ronald J. Stopak of Le Mars; three grandchildren, Heather Ann Aloe and her husband, Ariel, of Chicago, Ill., Mei-Ling Stopak of Houston, Texas, and Ei-Ling Stopak of New York City; four sisters, Martha Swan of Glendale, Calif., Sister Joselda Smolen, O.S.F. of Colorado Springs, Colo., Bernice Lichty of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Edna O'Neill of Marino Valley, Calif.; two brothers, Dan Smolen and his wife, Jo Anne, of Westminster, Colo, and Dean Smolen and his wife Deena of Arvada, Colo.
She was preceded in death by her husband Steve Stopak; four brothers, Edwin, Lambert, Adrian, and Clarence Smolen; and a sister Donna Mae Smolen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. William McCarthy officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars with military honors conducted by Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion. Friends may call anytime after 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars. There will be a rosary by the Christian Mothers at 4 p.m. and a vigil wake service at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Tom Ryan, Tim Rollinger, Dean Bohlken, Mike Dreckman, Mike Sitzmann, and Scott Nielsen.