Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mary Jane (Popko) Begalle

IRONWOOD, Mich. - On Jan. 1, 2023, at the age of 88, Mary Jane (Popko) Begalle took her final journey home to be with her Heavenly Father.

Mary Jane was born in Ironwood, on Feb. 21, 1934, to Thomas and Anna Popko. Growing up in a family of nine siblings, strong family values were instilled in Mary Jane at a very young age, values that she passed on to her children and grandchildren. She was raised in Oma, Wisconsin, and graduated from Wisconsin State College in Superior, Wisconsin, with her teaching degree.

In 1955, she married Donald Begalle, the beginning of a beautiful 67-year marriage. Soon after they moved to Illinois where they welcomed twin boys, Jeffery and James, into their family, followed by another son, Joseph, and two daughters, Jill and Julie. After living in New York and North Carolina, Mary Jane and Don moved to Colorado in 1976 setting down roots and building their forever home.

Mary Jane worked in sales at Sears for 16 years but she spent most of her life devoted to taking care of her family and helping others. She volunteered at the OUR Center and the HOPE Center, spent time visiting nursing home residents and was an active member of the Holy Spirit Circle at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. She also served as a historian officer for the Denver Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Mary Jane's true passion was cooking for her family and friends, especially the children. Along with making sure her grandchildren always got socks and briefs for Christmas.

Mary Jane was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Anna; siblings, Johnny, Thomas, Anna Mae and Eugene; and her daughter, Jill WooChing.

She is survived by her husband, Don; sons, Jeff (Leah), Jim (Margret) and Joe (Terri); daughter, Julie; and son-in-law, Sililo; as well as 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four remaining siblings, Donald, Gordon, Michael and Virginia.

Mary Jane will be remembered as a big-hearted, kind and generous woman. A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be greatly missed.

There will be a Christian burial on July 7, 2023, in Sunset Acres Cemetery, in Ironwood Township, with a luncheon served at the Oma Town Hall in Oma following the graveside service.