Cover photo for Mark Charles Ropella's Obituary
1963 Mark 2024

Mark Charles Ropella

January 17, 1963 — February 19, 2024

Appleton

Mark Charles Ropella, 61, of Appleton, died unexpectedly on Monday, February 19, 2024 at his home. Mark was born on January 17, 1963 to Dennis and Nancy Ropella. Mark grew up in Menasha and attended Clovis Grove Elementary and Butte des Morts Junior High School. He graduated from Menasha High School in 1981. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1986, his teaching certification in English and History from UW-Madison, and later obtained a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University. Mark began his teaching career in Milwaukee, then taught at the Appleton Alternative School, followed by Wilson Middle School, and then taught at Appleton North High School and Career Academy until his retirement in 2019. 

A dedicated educator and beloved teacher of history and English classes, Mark inspired his students to become life-long learners and to pursue higher education. He taught an elective course in military history for over two decades and worked tirelessly to document and preserve the stories of local American veterans. Mark was a world traveler: he spent a semester abroad in London where he gained life-long friends and he participated in a cultural exchange program with Russian educators, traveling to remote parts of Russia and hosting Russian guests as well. Mark is remembered for his deep love of music, collecting many vinyls as well as traveling with his friends to music festivals from Nashville to Las Vegas. 

An avid fisherman and lover of the northwoods, Mark cherished his time at the family’s cottage in northern Wisconsin.  Whether watching a game of one of his beloved Wisconsin teams on a rainy day, taking out the boat for a fishing trip with his brother Tom, or simply spending time with myriad family and friends who would spend time there, the family cottage was one of his favorite places, especially following his retirement. Mark was also a devoted caretaker for his late mother, Nancy Ropella, during the last years of her life. Known for his kindness, sense of humor, generosity and intelligence, Mark is fondly remembered as a loving brother, uncle, and friend, and will be greatly missed. 

Mark is survived by his nieces and nephews, Sarah J. De Bruin, Charles De Bruin and his wife, Bethany, and their daughter Olive Ann De Bruin, Rachel Ropella, and Henry Ropella; his brother-in-law, David De Bruin and his fiancée, Becky; his sister-in-law, Carol Ropella; and many neighbors and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Dennis and Nancy Ropella, his brother, Tom Ropella, and his sister, Ann Ropella De Bruin.

The Celebration of Mark's Life will be held at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 8, 2024 at the Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N. Superior Street, Appleton. The family will receive friends there at 4:00 pm until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials for a scholarship in Mark's memory are appreciated.

To order memorial trees in memory of Mark Charles Ropella, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Friday, March 8, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, March 8, 2024

6:00 - 6:30 pm (Central time)

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