NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Lt. Col. Joseph James “Jim” Poptic II of Newton Falls, Ohio passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday morning, May 30, 2021. He was surrounded by his family who supported him throughout his two-year fight with pancreatic cancer.
Jim was born in Middletown, New York to Joseph and Alice Poptic on January 25, 1946 and moved to Newton Falls the following year.
He attended St. Mary’s Elementary and then Newton Falls High School, lettering in basketball and graduating in 1964.
Jim began his extensive military career by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 1964, completing basic training at Parris Island and then reporting first to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina then to Camp Pendleton, California, before shipping out to Vietnam in 1966 as a corporal with 1st Bn 26th Marines. Jim returned to the United States in 1967, where he was stationed at Quantico, Virginia, instructing second lieutenants in multiple areas of wartime expertise.
While at Quantico, Jim met his future wife, Karen Dubyak from Carrolltown, Pennsylvania, who returned with him to Ohio toward the end of 1968, where he attended Kent State University and began working at Packard Electric.
Karen and Jim were married October 10, 1970 and welcomed their daughter, Michelle Elaine “Shelly” Wentworth, in January 1975 and son, Joseph James III “Jimmy”, in August 1976.
Jim enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard in January 1977, graduating from the Ohio National Guard Military Academy Officer Candidate School in 1978 as a second lieutenant with an award for “Outstanding Leader”. Jim completed a 3-month military police officer course in April of 1979 and was then assigned Company Commander of 324 MP battalion until his promotion to Captain in October 1983 and later to Major in February 1985. In 1991, the 437 MP Battalion Headquarters was deactivated. In September of that same year, Jim was transferred to the 107th Calvary in Stow, Ohio as the Executive Officer of the 2nd Squadron of the 107th Armory Calvary Regiment. In May of 1992 Jim was given command of the 112th Engineer Battalion for two and a half years. From there, he transferred to the 1654th Civil Affairs Group as the Executive Group Officer at the Vienna Ohio Air Base. He became commander of this unit in May of 2003 and ultimately retired from military service on January 25, 2006.
Jim retired from Delphi Packard Electric in 1999 after 30 years, then spent five years working as a pipefitter out of Local 326 in Youngstown, then as a driver for AVI until 2019.
He was an active member of VFW Post 3332 and AMVETS Post 112, and Masonic Lodge 462.
Jim is survived by his wife, Karen (nee Dubyak); daughter, Michelle “Shelly” and Joe Wentworth, of Sandusky, Ohio and their children, Alyssa and Leah; son, Joseph James III “Jimmy” and Cassie Mazzochi, of Cortland, Ohio and their children, Sydney and Zachary; siblings, Robert “Bob” and Pamella of Lordstown, Ohio, Alan of Ashland, Kentucky, David and Marianne of Howland, Ohio and Diana and Stephen Ferrando of Sanford, Florida and nephews, Robert and Jennifer Poptic of North Olmsted, Ohio and Kristofer and Jessica Morrison of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Jim’s family will accept visitors at James Funeral Home in Newton Falls from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2021 followed immediately by a memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to pancan.org for pancreatic cancer research and support.
Family and friends may send condolences, please visit us at www.jamesfuneralhomeinc.com.
A television tribute will air Thursday, June 3 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.