New Richmond:
(715) 243-5252  |  
River Falls:
(715) 425-8788

Mary Koehler 03/29/2018

Koehler, Mary “Bitsy” (nee Copeland), longtime resident of Menomonee Falls, passed away on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at the age of 89. Born April 10, 1928, she is preceded in death by her husband (Frank) of 61 years and brother John (Majlis) Copeland. She is survived by her daughters Kathy (Todd) King and Chris (Bob) Stukel along with grandchildren Lindsey (Peter) and Eric. Further survived by nieces, nephews, and friends. Visitation will be Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church (W156 N8131 Pilgrim Road in Menomonee Falls) from 11am until time of memorial service at 12 noon.
Bitsy grew up in Beaver, Pennsylvania. Graduate of Beaver High School in 1946 followed by a Masters in Library Science from Syracuse University in 1951. A Research Librarian position at UW-Madison Memorial Library prompted her to re-locate to the Midwest. It was here that she formed lifelong friendships with her fellow three roommates on Gilman Street (Milly, Jan, Jean). They formed the “Quarter Century Club” as they were 25 years of age and not married. At Picnic Point, Bitsy attended a church picnic where she met her future husband. Having a dental procedure done just prior to the event (by his brother John DDS), Frank complained of his toothache and it must have been love at first sight.
Married in 1955, Bitsy and Frank moved to Menomonee Falls in 1957 where they raised their family. Summers were spent in Chautauqua, NY where they all shared Bitsy’s love of music. As a pianist, she performed on their Amphitheater stage where everyone stood up (she was playing the national anthem). As time went by, grandchildren came along. Bitsy enjoyed showing them the many things Chautauqua has to offer- including ballet and how to wave a tennis racket when re-directing a bat from the house.
Bitsy was known as a great cook and was exceptional in any creative outlet she pursued (Sewing, Knitting, Calligraphy, Painting, Photography and Quilting to name a few). All of us will miss her creativity and positive attitude. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Chautauqua MSFO Scholarship fund (see additional information), or donor’s choice.
Each summer 80+ of the most promising young instrumentalists from the United States and abroad are accepted to the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra for an exciting summer of educational and performance opportunities at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. This is a tuition free program, with 100% of students receiving tuition scholarships.
Donations in Bitsy’s name can be made on-line at (select the button for “Scholarship” & under “Additional gift information” specify it is for the MSFO). There is also a field to indicate it is a memorial gift.
Checks can be made out to the “Chautauqua Foundation” and sent to the address below. Please specify “MSFO scholarship gift in memory of Bitsy Koehler” with your donation.
Chautauqua Foundation
PO Box 28
Chautauqua, NY 14722

1 Comment

  • Linda E Frolund Posted May 1, 2018 2:45 pm

    I am so glad that I had opportunity to meet Bitsy over the past 30 some years. Even though our times together were seldom, her sweet gentle spirit was a breath of fresh air in this crazy world. I am happy for her to be in God’s presence now, and enjoying living in a pain free and loving atmosphere of heaven. It is always a comfort for those of us left behind in this world that our loved ones are safe in God’s loving presence. I too look forward to the day when we all are reunited with Bitsy and Loved ones who have gone on ahead of us. Won’t that be a glorious time to see her again! In the mean time I wish peace and comfort to all of Bitsy’s family and friends as we wait for that day of reunion.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *