Beaverton Historical Society
Gladwin County Obituary/Death Notice
Mary Hopfensperger

   Mary Rose Ellen (Garvey) Hopfensperger breathes easily today. At the age of 73, the longtime Midland resident passed away Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, at home with family hovering about.

   She was born at the family farm house in Freedom, Wisconsin, on March 12, 1932, the younger daughter of John E. and Margaret (Nies) Garvey. The valedictorian of Freedom High School’s class of 1950, which graduated all of 19 students, married James F. Hopfensperger on Sept. 7, 1950, at St. Nicholas Church in Freedom, Wisconsin. The couple moved to Midland in 1954 when Jim accepted a teaching position with the Midland Public Schools.

   Mary Rose worked from home running a household of 10 children and returned to college as a mother of nine, earning her bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University. She was also the co-owner and backbone of the family’s business, Hopfensperger Studios. An active member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Queen of Angels Fraternity of the Secular Franciscans, and various other church and community organizations, Mary Rose was a devoted friend and always ready to lend a hand when a task needed to be done. She was happiest when helping others.

   She had a smile that could light up a room and a voice that sung like a bird. Her laughter, especially in conjunction with that of her sister Ellen, was incredibly contagious – the giggling Garvey girls were something to behold. Her skills, efforts and strength seemed limitless. She abided by her dad’s words, “Honest work is worship and to labor is to pray.” A woman of great spirit, she was praying in every sense of the word every hour of every day.

   Mary Rose will be greatly missed by her husband of nearly 55 years, James, and her children and their spouses, John and Rita Hopfensperger of Midland; Joan Most of Midland; Jeannine Hopfensperger and Thomas Teal of Chesaning; James A. Hopfensperger and Jane Maddox of Kalamazoo; Jay and Nichole Hopfensperger of Appleton, Wisconsin; Jed Hopfensperger of Midland; Matt Hopfensperger and Sian Kwa of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Mary and Brian Rhame of Cincinnati, Ohio; Mona and Thomas Priest of Box Elder, South Dakota; and Marie Hopfensperger and Jeffrey Burdick of Chesaning. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Jessica (Galen) Westman, Juliana Teal, Josiah Most, Gabrielle Priest, John and Jennifer Hopfensperger, Katherine and LiEllen Rhame, Liam Hopfensperger, and Jeremy and Noah Hopfensperger; as well as her sister, Ellen Reimer of Freedom, Wisconsin, and one brother-inlaw, Robert Hopfensperger of Oak Lawn, Illinois. Mary Rose was predeceased by her parents, John E. and Margaret (Nies) Garvey, and three brothers- in-law, George and Leo Hopfensperger, and Frank E. Reimer.

   Visitation will take place Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m., with a wake service beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Secular Franciscans will hold a special service at 9:45 a.m. Thursday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, with a funeral mass to follow at 11 a.m. Cremation will take place and Mary Rose’s ashes will be placed near the statue of St. Francis in New Calvary Cemetery at a later date.

   Donations may be made in her honor to Habitat for Humanity or the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Ware- Smith-Woolever Funeral Home.

Personal Information
Death Date
Burial/Final Location
New Calvary Cemetery, MI
Publication Information
Pub. Date
Pub. Page
Gladwin County Record, Gladwin, MI
P:A5 C:?
Transcription Information
Transcribed by
Source Media
September 2009
Bob Frei
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