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92_HR0531 LRB9210985RHrh 1 HOUSE RESOLUTION 2 WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of 3 Representatives wish to express their sincere condolences to 4 the family and friends of Mari-Rae Sopper, a native of 5 Inverness, Illinois, who passed away on September 11, 2001 on 6 American Airlines Flight 77; and 7 WHEREAS, Mari-Rae Sopper was born on June 19, 1966 to 8 Bill Sopper and Marian Kminek; and 9 WHEREAS, Mari-Rae Sopper was a graduate of William Fremd 10 High School in Palatine, where she competed in gymnastics; 11 during her high school career she was named an All-American 12 on all four events, a state champion gymnast, Fremd High 13 School's Athlete of the Year and Illinois' Outstanding Senior 14 Gymnast of the Year; in addition, she excelled in academics 15 earning recognition as an Illinois State Scholar and a 16 National Merit Scholar; and 17 WHEREAS, Ms. Sopper went on to Iowa State University and 18 graduated with a degree in Exercise Science; she competed for 19 four years on the Iowa State Women's Gymnastics team, where 20 she was voted Iowa State's Most Valuable Gymnast in her 21 senior year; and 22 WHEREAS, After graduating from Iowa State, Ms. Sopper 23 earned her master's degree in Athletic Administration from 24 North Texas University; at the same time, she served as a 25 Junior Olympic Gymnastics coach in Dallas, where she was 26 well-known in the nation's gymnastics community and had a 27 reputation for her beautifully choreographed dance routines; 28 and 29 WHEREAS, Ms. Sopper was a strong advocate for women's 30 rights and civil rights, beliefs that led her to enroll at 31 the University of Denver College of Law, where she was a -2- LRB9210985RHrh 1 member of the Law Review and graduated in 1996; while 2 completing her law degree, she served as an assistant coach 3 at the Colorado Gymnastics Institute; and 4 WHEREAS, Ms. Sopper practiced law in Washington, D.C. as 5 a Lieutenant on the Navy's JAG Corps focusing on Defense and 6 Appellate Defense; she was also a member of the Supreme Court 7 Bar; while in Washington, she kept her enthusiasm for 8 gymnastics alive by serving as an assistant coach and 9 choreographer for the U.S. Naval Academy women's gymnastics 10 team; most recently, she was an assistant coach and 11 choreographer at George Washington University; and 12 WHEREAS, Ms. Sopper left the JAG Corps and became an 13 associate at the law firm of Schmeltzer, Aptaker and Shepard; 14 after serving for a year, she realized that her desire to 15 coach gymnastics was overwhelming and therefore accepted the 16 head coach position at the University of California at Santa 17 Barbara for the women's gymnastics team; and 18 WHEREAS, The passing of Mari-Rae Sopper will be deeply 19 felt by all who knew and loved her, especially her parents, 20 Bill Sopper and Marion (husband, Frank) Kminek; her sisters, 21 Tammy Sopper, Christina Kminek, and Stacy Sopper; her 22 brothers, Christopher Kminek and Frank (wife, Beth) Kminek; 23 her grandparents, Lilian Dahlstrom and Janie Bonara; and her 24 many friends and colleagues whose lives she touched in more 25 ways than one; therefore, be it 26 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 27 NINETY-SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that 28 we mourn, along with all who knew her, the death of Mari-Rae 29 Sopper, formerly of Inverness, Illinois; and be it further 30 RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be 31 presented to the family of Mari-Rae Sopper with our sincere 32 condolences.
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