Cover photo for Darlene Ropar's Obituary
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1923 Darlene 2019

Darlene Ropar

April 6, 1923 — July 19, 2019

Darlene Kohler Ropar, 96, of Kansas City, Kansas, died peacefully in her home of 55 years on Friday, July 19. Services will be Saturday, August 10, beginning with Visitation at 9 a.m. and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Kansas City, Kansas. Inurnment will be at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to World Central Kitchen or Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care. Born in Herington, Kansas in 1923 in the midst of the Great Depression, Darlene came to Kansas City, Kansas as a youngster with her parents Erwin Fenton Kohler and Hazel McCoy Kohler and her two brothers Robert and LaVerne, who predeceased her. She graduated from Central Junior High School and, in 1942, from Wyandotte High School. A true "Rosie the Riveter," Darlene began working at age 18 in the defense industry to support an Allied victory in World War II. She worked first at the B-25 bomber plant at North American Aviation, in the Fairfax neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. She then took a better paying but far more dangerous job in 1943, at the Sunflower Ordnance Plant just outside of DeSoto, Kansas. In doing so, she became one of the first women "powder workers" handling gunpowder and producing propellants and explosives for the Allies. When World War II ended, she met and married Henry Ropar, from Strawberry Hill, Kansas City, Kansas. She became part of a large Croatian family that included Matthew Ropar, Ann Ropar Meyer, Bernice Ropar Curtis, Dorothy Ropar Fitch, Patricia Ropar Weck, George Roper, Peter Roper, Izidor Roper, and Dorothy Bibb. All her brothers- and sisters-in-law and their spouses predeceased her. During the 1950s, Darlene moved first to Dallas where she and Henry worked for Synkeloid Industries, then to Los Angeles, where Darlene became a bank teller. They returned to their hometown of Kansas City, Kansas in 1965. Darlene worked as a bank teller at Tower State Bank until her retirement in 1986. Thanks to Henrys job at TWA, she traveled to London, Paris, Athens, Zagreb, Guadalajara, Spain, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York, Darlene was a founding and lifetime member of the Womens Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 7026, serving as the Auxiliarys first president. In later years, she played bunco with a longstanding group of friends, the Bunco Babes. She is survived by her daughter, Robin Ropar Heller, of Takoma Park, Maryland; Robins fianc John Golding, of London; her former son-in-law and "son-for-life" Mark Ames Heller, of Philadelphia; her dear friend and neighbor Clarice Shoemaker; her caregiver of many years, Joyce Foreman; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors.
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Visitation St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

Saturday, August 10, 2019

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

708 N. 4thKansas City, Kansas 66101
Directions Funeral Mass St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

Saturday, August 10, 2019

10:00 AM

708 N. 4thKansas City, Kansas 66101
Directions Inurnment Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery

Saturday, August 10, 2019

StateKansas City, Kansas 66101
Directions

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