Kathleen (Kathie) Shopa, 94, of Port Charlotte, Florida died peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving family on July 5, 2017. Born Kathleen A. Shields on June 19th, 1923, she was the only child of John and Margaret Shields. Kathleen was raised on the Mesabi Iron Range in Biwabik, Minnesota and attended high school at Stanbrook Hall in Duluth, Minnesota. She graduated from Michigan State with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.
Kathleen completed her dietetic internship in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. She then moved to Hawaii and worked as a dietician at St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu for 4 years. It was at this time she met her future husband, Michael J. Shopa of Peckville, Pennsylvania, who was stationed in Guam in the Air Force.
Kathleen and Michael were married on August 7, 1948. They raised their family of six children in Duluth, Minnesota and moved to Port Charlotte, Florida in 1976. She became a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish of Charlotte County.
Kathleen worked at Fawcett Memorial Hospital as a therapeutic dietician from 1977 to 1985. She also volunteered her time at the Charlotte Animal Welfare League, where she personally adopted several "unadoptable" animals. Kathleen was an animal rights advocate and supported numerous local and national organizations on behalf of ending animal cruelty.
She was an avid gardener, a vegan vegetarian cook, and a voracious reader. She and her friends enjoyed taking educational classes together at the Charlotte Cultural Center. Kathleen will be dearly missed by those who knew her, but most of all by her family who hold her memory eternally in their loving hearts.
She is survived by her husband, Michael J. Shopa, and six children: Stephanie Shopa (Mann Hawks) of Venice, Florida, Michael Shopa (Kathy Horn Shopa) of Kalispell, Montana, Jennifer Shopa of Port Charlotte, Florida, John Shopa of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Melanie McMurray of Venice, Florida, and Daniel Shopa (Robin Mercurio Shopa) of Port Charlotte, Florida. Kathleen is also survived by 12 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at Kays-Ponger and Uselton Funeral Home, 635 E. Marion Ave Punta Gorda, FL 33950 on Sunday, July 9 from 3pm to 5pm. A Funeral Mass will be take place at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church 2500 Easy St, Port Charlotte, FL 33952 on Monday, July 10 at 11am.
The family requests donations be made to The Animal Welfare League INC, 3519 Drance St, Port Charlotte, FL 33980
In loving memory, I loved the way you embraced life, loved life and loved your family. Thank you for letting me be small part of your journey. Love and Light
Our hearts are broken, temporarily, but filled with joy for all the years we've known and loved Kathleen. Many, many fond memories sustain us.
Charlene and Les Inglis
Mom and Dad early years.
Mom and Dad. Together Forever
She was the best mother our tribe could have ever imagined. You will be in my heart always. Love you for eternity mom.
She was a great lady and will be missed.
Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss. Aunt Cathy will be missed. May you find comfort in family and friends. Love Ann and Walt
It was a honor to know Mrs. Mike. She was always very kind to me. One great lady.
Kathleen was a very good friend and she will be missed.
George and Karen Radzak
I am blessed to have 2 children to carry on the legacy of this one of a kind amazing woman! You truly leave a void in all who knew and loved you! RIP Al
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