Sharon Kapsa

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Sharon L. Kapsa June 18, 1947 - July 3, 2014 SOUTH BEND - Sharon Lynn (Pejza) Kapsa, 67, passed away on July 3, 2014. She is survived by her husband, James M. Kapsa. She was born in South Bend, Indiana, on June 18, 1947, to the late Eugene and Dorothy (Szymanowski) Pejza. She attended St. Casimir's Grade School and Washington High School, class of 1965. She and her husband were married at St. Casimir's Catholic Church on June 28, 1969, and they recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. During their marriage and throughout her illness, she proclaimed each day how much she loved her husband and her family. Together, they had three daughters: Jocelyn Kapsa Vare of Fishers, IN, Jessica (Drew) Brookshire of Granger, IN, and Jonelle (Matt) Wehrman of Cincinnati, OH. In addition to being a mother, Sharon had a remarkable career as a middle-school teacher. She received her Bachelor's degree in Education from Indiana University South Bend (1976) and earned her Master's in 1982. In 1991, she earned the endorsement to teach gifted/talented students from Purdue University. She served for 27 years as a Language Arts teacher at Schmucker Middle School (1977 2005) in Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. At Schmucker, she led the newspaper and yearbook staffs and coached numerous Hoosier Spell Bowl teams and Academic Super Bowl teams in the subject of English. Many of her student teams over the years were winners of the state's Academic Super Bowl State Championship. For these achievements inside and outside of the classroom, Sharon was awarded Teacher of the Year for PHM School Corporation in 1990. At the end of the 2004-05 school year, Sharon retired from PHM but did not stop teaching. Through her first five years of retirement, Sharon taught as an adjunct professor at Bethel College and St. Mary's College, instructing and mentoring the next generation of middle school teachers. She also taught at the South Bend English Institute on the campus of IUSB, teaching foreign students how to speak and write English. A South Bend Tribune article published in 2007 featured Sharon as a retiree who continued pursuing her vocation. "I'm a teacher, and I believe learning is a lifetime experience," Sharon stated in the article. During her lifetime, Sharon especially enjoyed creative activities such as redecorating and designing wreaths and other crafts. She loved reading poetry and writing her own prose and poems. She enjoyed traveling with her husband, brother and sister-in-law, and annual family trips to Bloomington for IU Homecoming and South Haven, Michigan, for family beach getaways. Sharon participated in SBCSC Schoolmen's Wives Club, Jazzercise, and loved her time participating in the Sacred Heart Scripture Study Group. Most importantly to her, she was a member of Sacred Heart Parish (Crypt) with her husband. Her Catholic faith and love for God was not only in her heart throughout her lifetime, but always on her lips as well. She shared her faith with others, serving as a commentator and Eucharistic Minister at Masses at the Crypt. In addition to her faith, Sharon's greatest loves were her husband and her family. She loved her three siblings, Rebecca (Timothy) Link of Darnestown, MD, Ken (Barbara) Pejza of Margate, FL, and Debra (Dan) Degucz of Granger, IN; and sister-in-law, Denise (John) Berscheit of South Bend, IN. The children of her family held a special place in Sharon's heart and she cherished her role as Aunt and Grandmother to each of them: Sharon's nieces and nephew, Catherine Degucz, Samantha Degucz, Nathan Link, Cassie (Pejza) Permenter and Emily (Pejza) Rollison; and seven grandchildren, Nicholas Vare, Madeline Vare, Amelia Brookshire, A.J. Brookshire, Alexa Wehrman, Angelina Wehrman and David Wehrman. A viewing will take place at Kaniewski Funeral Home, located at 3545 North Bendix Drive in South Bend, on Monday, July 7, from 2 p.m. 8 p.m. The Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. A Catholic Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, at Basilica at Sacred Heart. Memorial contributions may be made to: Center for Hospice Care, Sacred Heart Parish, and South Bend Alumni Association. Condolences for the family may be shared at The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff and volunteers of Center for Hospice Care and Sacred Heart Parish.

Funeral Home
Kaniewski Funeral Homes
3545 North Bendix Drive
South Bend, IN 46628
(574) 277-4444
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Published in South Bend Tribune from July 5 to July 6, 2014
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