March 23, 1928 - July 19, 2012
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Damaris Jean (Thompson) Copperud died unexpectedly on July 19, 2012 at her home at Monarch Place in Oakland. Born and raised in Faribault, MN, Damaris was the oldest child of Ada and Albert Thompson, South Dakotans of Norwegian heritage. She graduated from St. Olaf College, then received a master's degree from Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C. Her subsequent career as an elementary school teacher at the California School for the Deaf (Berkeley and Fremont) spanned 40 years. She was married to Richard Copperud from 1947 to 1972, raising a family in Berkeley. After retiring in 1986, she pursued her second career as grandmother extraordinaire. Her passion was reading, but she also loved the theater (Berkeley Rep, ACT) and music (SF Symphony and Chorus). She loved being at Lake Tahoe and enjoyed her many summers in Spain. Damaris was a "second mom" to many: listening, advising and providing safe haven. She played a similar professional role as a highly valued mentor to young teachers at CSD. That she touched and changed many lives is an understatement. She leaves her sisters (Joann Youngstrom, Tippy Schwabe) and brother (Thomas Thompson) and their families; her three daughters, Carol, JoAnn and Cathy Copperud, son-in-law Robert Gils; and grandchildren Rebecca Millan, Ingrid and Luke Gils. Donations may be made in her name to the California School for the Deaf - Fremont (39350 Gallaudet Drive, Fremont, CA 94538) or
. A memorial gathering will be held at the Sequoia Lodge, 2666 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, on Friday, September 28, at 5:00 p.m. The family invites personal statements of gratitude for the life of this marvelous woman, to whom we owe so much.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2012