A Joseph Popper, 83, of Lake Worth Florida passed away peacefully at home on May 17, 2020. He was surrounded by his family after a long battle with respiratory illness.
Born in Staten Island, NY on September 13, 1936, Joe’s early life was marked by a fire that caused a tragic collapse of his NYC apartment building that took the lives of his entire family and left him buried in the rubble for more than eight hours. He was rescued by a NYC firefighter, something he would eventually repay through his twenty-three year career as a Lieutenant with the New York Fire Department.
Joe served in the United States Navy aboard several of the country’s earliest missile cruisers. He later earned a bachelor degree in English from the City University of New York. He spent a number of years after being discharged from the military in banking before entering the fire academy.
He was blessed early on with six children from his first wife Marie who passed away in 1976. His path was further blessed when he met and married his second wife Mary Ann, whom he described as “an angel that graced his life”, and he fully embraced the opportunity and joy of being father to a family of 11. He lived every day of his life in gratitude and always spoke of how lucky and fortunate he was. He spent his last week’s and days answering the calls, messages and visits from family and friends who have touched his life. His treasured family also included 34 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren and dozens of other individuals he claimed as family, as well.
He and his beloved wife of 43 years, Mary Ann, spent many years traveling in between hosting their family for reunion vacations and summers at their Lavallette New Jersey beach home. Together they visited 62 countries, made friends across the globe and brought back memories they excitedly shared with everyone.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Mary Ann, his loving children, Joseph, Theresa, Walter, William, George, Susan, Christopher, Victoria, Celeste, Linda and Michelle and their families.
A funeral service in memory of A. Joseph Popper, will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at Gary Panoch Funeral Home. Viewing will be held from 3-5:00pm and service to begin promptly at 5:00pm. Virtual viewing will be available beginning at 4:30pm by clicking on the available link.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made, in his honor, to NY Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, www.NYFFBurnCenter.com, or a charity of your choice.
In Lieu of flowers or trees, donations may be made in memory of Joseph Popper to: The New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, 21 Asch Loop, Bronx, NY 10475.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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