OBITUARY: Maureen Katherine Hogan Copeskey

Maureen Katherine Hogan Copeskey

Maureen Katherine Hogan Copeskey, of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, died peacefully surrounded by family on November 29, 2021, following a stubborn fight with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 91.

Visitation will be observed at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 14544 Lebanon Road, in Old Hickory, on Thursday, December 2, 2021, from 5-7 p.m., which will be followed at 7 p.m., with a Vigil Service. Visitation will resume at 9:30 a.m., on Friday at St. Stephen followed by a requiem mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 1001 Lebanon Road, Nashville.

The beloved matriarch of a sprawling extended family, Maureen was born on January 15, 1930, in her maternal grandparent’s home on the banks of the Miramichi River in Barnettville, New Brunswick, Canada. Her birth was accompanied by the apparition of a white horse in a snowy dense forest that signaled to her father, working miles away in a remote lumber camp, that he needed to return home.

A remarkable woman of unshakeable faith and quiet but determined resolve, Maureen led a life devoted to the service of her God, church, family, friends, and community. Her sweet smile, bright blue eyes, and loving nature made a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to be in her presence. During the entirety of her life, no one could recall her uttering a mean-spirited word, complaint, or gossip.

Maureen is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Robert Copeskey; her children, Cynthia (Mike) Coman of Port Orange, FL, Dr. Paul (Megan) of Los Angeles, CA, Peter (Mary) of Tucson, AZ, James (Barbara) of Waverly, TN, and Jeffrey (Lissa) of Baton Rouge, LA; sisters, Margaret McIntyre of London, Ontario, Sylvia (John) Murphy of Miramichi, New Brunswick, and Evelyn Ann Froats of Cornwall, Ontario. Some of her greatest joys were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to whom she was known as Mimi – grandchildren, Maureen “Katie” (Phil), Jessica, Andrew (Meghan) Coman, Candice (Jonathan) Moss, Jacob, Matthew (Victoria), Michael (Briana) and Adam; great-grandchildren, Madeline, Holly, Graham, Brooks, and Joseph. Her passing is also mourned by countless cousins, nieces, nephews, and grand and great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bartholomew and Mary Grace (Underhill) Hogan, and brothers, Wilson, George, John, and Shirley (Irene).

Maureen, the eldest daughter of eight children, was raised on the family farm at the onset of the Great Depression in Upper Derby, New Brunswick, Canada. Because she completed her primary schooling at a young age, Maureen taught in a one-room schoolhouse before becoming eligible to enter nurses’ training at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Chatham, New Brunswick.

After receiving her nursing degree, Maureen, at age 20, crossed the U.S. border for better employment opportunities and began work at Cary Memorial Hospital in Caribou, Maine. A bit of serendipity would lead her to a dance in 1951 where she met Bob Copeskey, a U.S. Air Force airman from Wisconsin stationed in northern Maine. Maureen and Bob were engaged on Valentine’s Day 1952. In the first what would be many military-related family moves, Maureen traveled to Bob’s next assignment 1,300 miles away and where she worked in the polio unit of St. Mary’s Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. The two were married on September 24, 1952, in Champaign, Illinois.

Maureen soldiered through the repeated uprooting and unpacking of military life adventures without complaint and was undaunted by (or maybe even relished) a rambunctious family life in an era of cloth diapers. At one point in the early 1960s when Bob was on a remote one-year military assignment, Maureen, then without a driver’s license, was on her own raising five children under the age of 10. A few years later, although she could not distinguish between a double play, double dribble, or double coverage, Maureen could be found in the stands at her sons’ various athletic events where she clapped her enthusiastic support accompanied by encouraging shouts of “run, run, run!”

Maureen and Bob came south to Middle Tennessee in 1976 following Bob’s military retirement and subsequent hiring by the Tennessee Valley Authority and later the National Weather Service. Through all the moves, Maureen retained her proud Irish-Canadian heritage and deep love of the Miramichi – its people, the river, and the land.

Central to every aspect of her life was her commitment to her faith and church, which shaped her life and that of all those fortunate to be her family and friends. She was gracious and the home was always open, including the memorable “fishes and loaves” Thanksgiving when the Copeskey children’s numerous college friends, too far from their own families, suddenly appeared but nonetheless found a welcoming table.

Maureen loved music and her humming or light singing was a staple of the household soundtrack. She loved to read, especially the Catholic Digest, Our Sunday Visitor, and Tennessee Register. She also enjoyed gardening and the arrival of bluebirds and hummingbirds to the backyard. Maureen saved her crosswords for the squirrels that would regularly raid her bird feeders. In mid-life, Maureen became an avid, if not obsessive, walker, going to the track regularly with friends to do some fast-paced laps. While Alzheimer’s robbed Maureen of her memory and ultimately her body, it could not steal her gentle smile, twinkling eyes, her love of family — or her desire to walk!

The family would like to express its deep appreciation to Maureen’s tireless caregivers throughout the years, especially, Nikita, Kay, Parul, the staff of Carrick Glen Assisted Living, and Christ Home Care.

Pallbearers will be Andrew Coman, Matthew Copeskey, Michael Copeskey, Jon Moss, Adam Copeskey, Candice Moss, and Maureen “Katie” Copeskey.

Memorials may be made to St. Stephen Catholic Community or the Middle Tennessee Chapter Alzheimer’s Association P.O. Box 41428 Nashville, TN, 37204.

Arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, N. Mt. Juliet Road, and Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN. (615) 773-2663.

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