October 11, 2019 – West Bend, WI – Bernie Hoppa passed away on October 10, 2019. He was born to Edward and Frances Hoppa in Stevens Point, WI on November 1, 1933. He was educated in Stevens Point grade and high schools and was a graduate of the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee in June 1959. He held a funeral director and embalmer license ever since.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1954, Bernie met the love of his life, Cecilia Danczyk while conducting the funeral of her grandmother. They were married in 1959, and just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 5. He was in the funeral business for a few years and took a position with the American Automobile Association. After several years he became a counselor for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries. He held this position for 30 years and left in 2000. Since then he has been employed at the Schramka funeral homes in Milwaukee.
Bernie was a self-taught musician and played the marimba for over 65 years. While in high school he and several friends formed a band and played for all occasions. Ever since Christmas of 1972 he performed at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Church in West Bend for Masses, on weekends, and many other occasions.
Bernie enjoyed his loving family, listening to music, reading, taking his daily walk and frequently attending daily Mass.
He is survived by his loving wife Ceil; two daughters, Geralynn (Rob) McElhatton, Karla (Mike) Graskey both of West Bend and his son Gerard (Jackie) of Granite Bay, CA. He has four precious grandchildren, Kyle and Quinn McElhatton of West Bend, Madeline Hoppa of Granite Bay, CA and Gavin Graskey of West Bend. He is also survived by his sister Juanita (Ed) Lemancik of Stevens Point, his brother Paul (Marie) of Sussex, and his sister-in-law Rita Hoppa of Orlando, FL. He is further survived by in-laws Regina Ecklund, Norbert Danczyk and Dennis Danczyk. He is preceded in death by his brother Frederick Hoppa of Orlando, FL, five brothers-in-law and three sisters-in law.
Bernie has been a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose since 1967 and has been an active member serving on various committees at St. Mary’s.
Bernie was very dedicated to his professions, always making an attempt to provide the highest quality of service to families he assisted throughout his years as a funeral director and counselor for the cemeteries. Bernie was known for his significant attention to detail and providing families with the extra attention needed during a difficult time.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, October 14 at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 406 Jefferson Street, West Bend, WI, 53090. A visitation will be held at the church from 10:30 until 11:45 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bernie’s name to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin are appreciated in consideration of his special bond with his grandson, Gavin Graskey.