Margaret Koppelman, a teacher in Ottawa Lake for more than four decades, died Thursday in Kingston Memory Care in Sylvania. She was 98.
Her son Gary said she had a commitment to inspiring students throughout her life — and that her dedication was taken to heart by several relatives.
“Out of her four boys, two of us became teachers and out of her grandchildren, there are five teachers,” Mr. Koppelman said.
He credited his mother for his success as a science teacher.
“I became the 2013 National Science Teacher this April. It’s because of mom’s passion for kids and teaching and her encouragement in my life to become a teacher,” he said.
Mrs. Koppelman’s granddaughter Abbie Miller, an Ann Arbor teacher, also credited her as an inspiration.
“She was a role model — somebody I always wanted to strive to be like,” Ms. Miller said.
Mrs. Koppelman began her career teaching elementary and middle school students at Columbia School in Ottawa Lake.
She had that job for 10 years, until her four sons started school, then moved on to Whiteford Agricultural Schools, also in Ottawa Lake, where she taught upper elementary classes for 32 years.
She retired in 1978.
Mrs. Koppelman was born July 13, 1914, to Ida and George Bischoff in Whiteford Township. She graduated from Blissfield High School in 1932. She then attended Lenawee County Normal School and received a teaching certificate.
She married Erwin Koppelman on June 15, 1940. They were married for 46 years, before his death in 1986.
Mrs. Koppelman graduated from Adrian College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1964.
After she retired, Mrs. Koppelman volunteered often in the community.
She had worked on the Bicentennial Whiteford Township history book and judged crafts for the Monroe County Fair.
Active with the Bedford Senior Center also as a volunteer, she was responsible for assembling the Whiteford School monthly newsletters.
Participating in Monroe County 4-H was a passion. She received the Pearl Clover award for 15 years as a 4-H leader.
Mrs. Koppelman was a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, where she received a 25-year service award.
She enjoyed weaving rag rugs, scrapbooking, and baking cookies.
Surviving are her sons, Duane, Ronald, Richard, and Gary; sister, Yvonne McDole, 14 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren, and eight step-great-grandchildren.
Visitation is in Reeb Funeral Home in Sylvania from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Ottawa Lake from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday before the funeral at 1 p.m. there.
The family suggests tributes to the church or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6522 or on Twitter @KMcBlade.
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