James C. Popeski, Sr., age 90, of Millcreek, passed away September 24, at home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born July 10, 1923, a son of the late Frank and Frances Izbicki Popeski.
James enlisted in the U.S. Army
at the age of 17 and was a WWII veteran. He served with 'E' Company, 60th Infantry Regiment, and 9th Division in the Panama Canal and was injured in the Hurtgen Forest in Germany, and hospitalized in England. He was awarded a Purple Heart
and Bronze Star, among other medals.
He was a member of the Millcreek American Legion Post 773 for 54 years. He also was a member of the Elks Club, Siebenbuerger Club, and Sportsmen's Club.
James drove a semi-tractor trailer for Erie Trucking, later known as Jones Motors, and was accident free for over 25 years, for which he received an award. He enjoyed tossing loose change to the children as he drove his tractor trailer. He also worked part time for the Sheriff of Erie County, Andy Hanisek, which he enjoyed very much. He liked to spend time bowling and playing bingo, as well as playing his harmonica, keyboard, guitar, accordion, and organ. He often entertained the residents at both Manchester Presbyterian Lodge and Fairview Manor with his harmonica. He passed out one dollar bills to restaurant employees, calling them over to his table to show his appreciation, even the staff cleaning the tables. He enjoyed going to Berkley Springs and Mountaineer Gaming Resort in West Virginia with his wife.
He was preceded in death by his precious wife of 52 years, Rose Marie, on November 2, 2003. He was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Rose Ann; a granddaughter, Kimberly; and many of his 15 brothers and sisters.
Survivors include his three daughters, Frances Brougham and her husband Douglas, Rose Tarquinio and her husband Joseph, and Lynn Kudlak and her husband Dennis; as well as two sons, James C. Popeski, Jr. and Fred J. Popeski. He is also survived by one sister, Mary Hoffmann; as well as 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren with the eighth on the way, and many nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street (at Powell Ave.) on Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and are invited to a prayer service there on Friday at 10:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. at St. Julia Catholic Church, 638 Roslyn Avenue, Erie, PA 16505 with Msgr. Bruce Allison officiating.
Burial with full Military Honors will follow at Calvary Cemetery. James will be buried in the family plot next to his loving wife, Rose Marie.
Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army, 1022 Liberty Street, Erie, PA 16502 or the Regional Cancer Center, 2500 West 12th Street, Erie, PA 16505.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Sept. 25, 2013