Mary Elizabeth Moses Gappa was born Nov. 13, 1934 in Emmetsburg. She is the daughter of Bill and Marian (Brennan) Moses. A lifelong resident of Emmetsburg, she graduated from St. Mary’s Academy.
In 1953, Joe Gappa and Mary were married at Assumption Catholic Church. They raised 4 sons and 5 daughters. Together, Joe and Mary often enjoyed welcoming neighbors, relatives and friends from near and far to their home. They never missed Mass at St. Thomas and visiting with friends after services.
Mary worked as an associate at Sheakley’s clothing store and she managed Chris’ Fashion. She served as secretary for Catholic Church offices and St. John’s Cemetery. Mary was a proctor at ILCC and later worked as a clerk part-time at the Iowa Store of the Wild Rose Casino and Resort.
Mary’s greatest joy in her life was her family. She tended to the tasks a household of 11. Mary would stay up all night preparing for family holiday dinners and picnics. Through the decades she enjoyed sewing, oil painting, knitting and ceramics, in addition to reading and listening to the radio. Mary loved music of various entertainers. She had a knack for home and holiday decorating.
Mary was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce, and Shady Ladies Irish Heritage group. She volunteered many hours at St. Pat’s Headquarters. Mary gladly lent a helping hand.
Mary Gappa is survived by her children: Joe and Zeline Gappa, Mary Kay Orsborn, Carolyn and Terry Lowman, Marcia and Bill Lapczenski, Jill and Joe Thompson, Todd and Lisa Gappa, and Paul Gappa; 17 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Gappa; son, Bill Gappa; daughter, Janet Barnes; her parents, Bill and Marian Moses; brother, Patrick Moses; and, sister, Patricia Weinzetl.
Condolences can be left at