DOUPNIK—It is with heavy heart that we say goodbye to a very special wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and teacher, Danusia Doupnik (Kosestka), who passed away on May 9, 2022, lovingly surrounded by her family in Florence, Ore. She was brave and selfless until the end, as was her nature.
Danusia was born in Eastern Poland after the outbreak of the WWII. Her father left to fight the Axel Powers and never returned — his fate unknown. Danusia spent her early years in a slave labor camp, where she barely survived starvation and the atrocities of war, until the liberation by the Allied Powers. Her mother Emelia married one of the occupying soldiers, George Muller, himself a Polish refugee who escaped Nazi imprisonment and spent the duration of the war fighting for the British Army.
Danusia’s family moved to Failsworth, England, in 1946, where as a young girl she went to school and worked in a bakery. They had the opportunity to enjoy some semblance of a normal life.
In 1956, she moved with her family to the United States, settling in Medford, Ore. It was there that she became an excellent student, made friends and seamlessly assimilated into American culture. After graduating from high school, she attended Southern Oregon State University, where she obtained a degree in education and English Literature. She was very fond of Shakespearean writing and became an active member of the renowned Shakespearian Theater in Ashland, Ore.
Upon graduating from college, Danusia embarked upon a decades long career in teaching, most notably at Egling Middle School, within the Colusa Unified School District. Of the thousands of children that passed through her tutelage, many of them referred to Danusia as their favorite teacher, an honorarium bestowed on her often by different generations of the same family.
In 1983, she married the love of her life, Robert Doupnik. They were soulmates, and rarely ever apart for the rest of her days.
Upon her retirement, they spent many years traveling. Danusia had a profound love of travel and touched the lives of many people throughout her decades of exploring the U.S., Canada and Europe. She was always more at home on the road than “at home” and loved to share her adventures with her family and friends. From pueblo dwellings to ghost towns, old mines, state parks, railroad museums, canyons, desserts, lakes, rivers, glaciers … she always had photos and stories and was happy to share.
Her sweet voice, letters and cards will be missed but she will always be with us in spirit and memory.
Danusia had a deep appreciation for nature. Being outdoors, among the trees and near water, was always a spiritual encounter for her. In length, she could discuss each type of plant or flower, among the variety of foliage throughout her garden. She was particularity fond of her hydrangea and heather.
Her love of art was evident, if you were blessed to ever walk about her garden or home, with carefully curated ceramic sculptures, southwestern pottery, kinetic art and nature-inspired paintings throughout. Every piece told a story — her story.
Danusia was a loving mother and grandmother who was very engaged in their extracurricular activities as children. She bestowed her love of dance, drama, music, art and pottery upon her children and was very involved in their pursuits in 4H and sports.
She encouraged us to try many different things as children and teens. She enjoyed having our friends over and the energy that kids can bring to a home.
And she made our house a home. Always inviting, good food and comfortable chairs. She always put our needs before hers and wanted the best for her kids.
She loved tradition and made the holidays special and rich in tradition.
Danusia leaves behind her husband of 42 years, and love of her life, Robert Doupnik; brother Richard Muller; children Joy Bruening (Francis), Susan Dieterly (Deklan) and Mike Dana (Albena); grandchildren, Xavier, Grant, David, Chloe, River and Alisa. She is preceded in death by her mother Emelia, father George and brother Henry.