Obituary for Anne Ropke
Anne Mattimore Ropke July 10, 1928 – February 15, 2018
Anne was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 10, 1928 to John D. Mattimore and Anne Peoples Mattimore. Her birth in a New York City taxi cab on Flatbush Avenue became a family legend. She spent her childhood in Brooklyn and Long Island before moving to Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She attended Seton Hill Academy on a scholarship as a boarding school student. While she was in high school, Anne’s family moved to the Audubon Park neighborhood in Louisville, KY. Anne joined them there after her high school graduation.
Anne graduated cum laude from Nazareth College (now Spalding University) in Louisville with a degree in languages in 1950. She used her language skills while working as a secretary at the University of Louisville International Center. She also worked a reservations agent at American Airlines, a job she enjoyed tremendously.
Anne met her future husband, Harry Ropke, in the Audubon Park neighborhood. They were married June 12, 1954.
Anne and Harry were cottage parents at Boy’s Haven in Louisville before they started their own family. Anne and Harry remained active in the community while raising their children. They were awarded the Caritas Medal at Spalding University in 1970 for the positive impact of their community service. Anne was also a volunteer at Bridgehaven Mental Health Services, and was dedicated to raising funds for a variety of charities, including the March of Dimes. Anne had a lifelong dedication to social justice causes. She was a strong supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Doctors Without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity.
After her children started high school, Anne went back to work, first at Stretch-and-Sew, then as a secretary to chiropractors Dr. Raymond Dunn and then his nephew, Dr. Sean Brady. After she retired, Anne enjoyed gardening, reading, traveling, cross-stitch, learning new languages, and working crossword puzzles. She remained a whiz at completing the New York Times crossword puzzle (in ink!) until the end of her life.
Anne was known for her kindness, generosity, sharp wit, and sense of humor. She had the knack of making friends with everyone she met. She was greatly loved, and she will be sorely missed.
Anne was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Joseph and John Mattimore, and Mary (Mimi) Wissing, by her husband Harry Ropke, and her son Matthew Ropke. She is survived by her children Lisa (Gordon) Nielsen, Margaret (Randy) Cassady, and Peter (Diana) Ropke, and her sister-in-law Joan Marie Ropke. She is also survived by grandchildren Kimberly (Mat) O’Leary, Jennifer Laverty, Greg (Michelle) Nielsen, and Tom (Caleb) Nielsen, and great-grandchildren Brennan O’Leary, Jaynie Laverty, James B. Laverty, Madeline Ritter, and Atlas Nielsen.
A visitation will be held at Highlands Funeral Home on Taylorsville Road in Louisville on Saturday, March 3rd from 2 to 7 PM, followed by a short service at 7 PM. In keeping with her lifelong desire to make the world a better place, Anne has donated her body to the University of Louisville Medical School.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Doctors Without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity.