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MaryAnn Pocapalia


1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
MaryAnn Pocapalia Obituary
MaryAnn Pocapalia

Passed away on Sunday, February 26, 2017. MaryAnn almost made it to her 96th birthday coming on May 5th. Born MaryAnn Spalenka, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, she was the oldest of 5 with 4 younger brothers. She was a high energy, fearless adventurer and took a train by herself to Pasadena when she was only 16. MaryAnn dreamed of being a famous singer and decided to study with music teacher, Emily Feuerstein, her "Aunt Emmy". After 2 years in Pasadena, MaryAnn discovered perhaps this was not the path for her. MaryAnn attended secretarial school and moved to Chicago by herself for employment opportunities. A few winters in Chicago were enough to entice MaryAnn back to southern California. During World War II, MaryAnn was a secretary for a plastics company. One fateful day soon after the war, Dan Pocapalia, who had recently started up Kit Manufacturing, walked into MaryAnn's office. 2 years later they were married and had 5 beautiful children. Over the next 63 years Dan and MaryAnn were a committed life team. The Pocapalia Clan enjoyed a "town and country" life-style in Rancho Palos Verdes. Family was always the most important part of life for MaryAnn and large family reunions were held annually. MaryAnn was a devout and involved parishioner at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Also civic minded, MaryAnn headed up a non-profit: C.A.T.H.Y, Community Assistance to Homeless Youngsters, and pursued legal rights for foster children in California. Later in life, MaryAnn was a court docent and taught students on field trips how the judicial system worked. MaryAnn loved to travel and not just to fine museums, chateaus and palaces, but also to the jungles of New Guinea, South America and Africa. MaryAnn's love of music and theater were nourished by season patronage to the Dorothy Chandler Music Center, Disney Hall concerts and patron of the Russian National Orchestra. Fortunately for her children, MaryAnn often took them along on these adventures and cultural experiences.
MaryAnn is survived by her 5 children, Maria, Daniel, Diana, Richard and Ann Pocapalia; her grandchildren, Adrianne and Kimberly Brounstein and Jordan and Richard Kern; and by her brother, David Spalenka.
In lieu of flowers, please send condolence donations to Holy Trinity Church, San Pedro CA. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits
Published in Daily Breeze on Mar. 12, 2017
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