SALEM, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John Popa, Sr., 92, of Salem, died at 3:08 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, at Circle of Care in Salem.
He was born on December 19, 1927 in Salem, Ohio, the son of the late Helen Popa.
John was born in Salem and moved to Romania at age two.
He returned to the area just prior to joining the U.S. Air Force. He was an aircraft mechanic during the Korean War. He shared many stories over the years but most notably working on the Wright Cyclone Engine. It was one of the most powerful radial aircraft engines in the world.
He returned to Salem and worked at Eljer Plumbingware, Mullins Manufacturing, Kaiser Refractory, Tenco Supply, Hole’s Trailer Sales, Davidson Sales and Service and for the Salem City School System and took care of Reilly Stadium.
John loved his family and his dog but especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his children, John Popa, Jr. and Joseph (Lynn) Popa both of Salem; siblings, Carl (Doris) McGaffic of Columbiana and George (Dixie) McGaffic of Florida and grandchildren, Michael, John and Lilly Popa and Danielle Ceplice.
In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his long time companion, Joanne (Stoneking) Early.
Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 at Arbaugh-Pearce-Greenisen & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, Salem. The Rev. P. Douglas George of Salem First United Methodist Church will be officiating.
Visitation will be on Monday, March 16, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
The burial will follow at Grandview Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Salem Honor Guard.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, March 17, at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.