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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dianne C. Koplas passed away peacefully Tuesday October 28th at the age of 77 in her Lockport home, surrounded by loved ones.

Born Dianne Kay Cooper on March 4th 1937 in Wilkes Barre PA to Wilbur R. and Jeanne Cooper (Gilland), Dianne later graduated from Wilson College before moving to Western New York to begin her career as a public school teacher.  It was there that she met and married her beloved husband John — also a life-long Lockport educator.

Dianne took a hiatus from teaching English in order to raise her four children: John R. (Christine) Koplas, David W. Koplas, Patricia A. (Gary) Matushak, and Geoffrey D. (Jennifer) Koplas. She returned to the Lockport school district years later, this time as a Social Studies educator. Throughout her lifetime in Lockport and particularly in retirement, Dianne was fascinated by the local history of the region. She could frequently be seen coordinating historical character portrayals for the Niagara County Historical Society or giving tours of the Tiffany windows within Lockport’s First Presbyterian Church. Dianne was an active member of the New Century Club and also enjoyed frequent travel with her husband, family and friends.

Dianne was pre-deceased by husband John and by her older brother Wilbur “Wib” Cooper, who died in France during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. In addition to her four children, Dianne is survived by 10 cherished grandchildren (Libby, Adam, Victoria, Sam, Alexandra, Gabriella, Ethan, Joshua, Grace Riley, and Elliot, as well as her younger sister Cynthia (Walter) Rittler and niece Meggeth (Scott) Nash, several great-nieces/nephews, and additional relatives from her husband’s extended family. She also leaves behind many former students whom she would be proud to consider part of her family.

Visiting hours are scheduled for 4-8PM on Friday November 7th at Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home in Lockport.  A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Lockport on Saturday November 8th at 2:00 PM, with a celebration of Dianne’s life to take place at the Canalside Banquet Center following the service from 4-7PM.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Dianne's memory may be made to the Lockport Public Library’s John S. Koplas Memorial Lecture Series fund, which will be re-named to honor the memory of both educators.

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