Fern (Stafford) Koppinger, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, formerly of the DeSart/Scranton, N.D. area passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2015 at the age of 89 years. She was the wife of Ed Koppinger, formerly of New England, N.D., who continues to live in Minnesota. Fern’s parents, Nelson and Adah Stafford, as well as an infant sister, preceded her in death, as did daughter Sharon.
Fern was born on Christmas Eve, Dec. 26, 1925 and grew up on the family farm north of Scranton. She attended a nearby country school and then went on to New England Public High School from which she graduated in 1944. She attended Dickinson State Teachers’ College and then taught country school for six years. During these years Fern got acquainted with Ed Koppinger and they were married on Nov. 14, 1953 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New England. Shortly after marriage Ed and Fern moved to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Fern got a job with Weyerhauser Lumber and worked there for three years until the children were born.
As the children grew up, Fern again worked outside the home. She worked with Smeades Paper Factory in Hastings, MN and also as assistant cook for the school. Fern never lacked for things to do as she enjoyed cooking, sewing, gardening, reading and baby sitting her two grandsons. Sadness and pain resulted for the family when daughter Sharon (Kummer) was grown and suffered a serious automobile accident. Fern and Ed faithfully spent every day at the bedside for daughter Sharon until she passed from this world.
Life moved on when Ed retired and left their jobs in the Cities. Fern still owned the small family farmstead in North Dakota. In their final years both she and Ed longed for the peace of farm life and returned to the Stafford farmstead to restore it and live there. As they both aged they made another move in selling the homestead and going back to Minnesota where their son Larry and his family remained. It mattered not at all where Ed and Fern were, they longed for and loved to keep in touch with their family members. As her health failed, Ed and son Larry remained at Fern’s bedside. Her final request was to be taken home to be buried in southwestern North Dakota. So it was that Fern was brought back for burial in Pierce Congregational Church Cemetery, Scranton, N.D. on Oct. 5, 2015. There many friends and relatives attended the service and paid their final respects.
Fern is survived by husband Ed, son Larry (Charmaine), grandsons Nick and Drew, plus Chris, Brandon, Alicia and many other relatives and friends.