Leonard 'Len''s Story

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Leonard "Len" Joseph Popa, 91, of Traverse City, passed away Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 at Munson Medical Center with his loving family at his side.
Leonard was born April 18, 1926 on the family farm just outside of Cedar, the second child of Thomas and Catherine (Novak) Popa. On Oct. 30, 1948, he married Betty Jane Yanski at St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City. Together they lovingly raised five wonderful children.
Honorably, Leonard served our country during World War II in the United States Army as a sergeant in artillery. He was an all American guy who truly loved his country. He was very proud of his discharge papers being signed by President Truman.
After his time in the service he came back and worked for Parsons Corporation making helicopter blades. After several years he left Parsons to start his own custom home building company, where he happily employed all five of his children. He was incredibly handy and could fix just about anything. To say he was hard working was an understatement, he just loved to help people. A handshake and a smile were his contract with customers.
In his spare time he really enjoyed playing cards especially euchre and blackjack.
Leonard was a family man. He loved his children and grandchildren dearly. His grandchildren convinced him to go back and get his high school diploma. In 2008, he proudly graduated from Traverse City West High School at the age of 81. Leonard will fondly be remembered for his devotion to his work, friends and especially his family. His sarcastic personality and one liner jokes will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Surviving Leonard are his bride, Betty of 69 wonderful years; children, Dave (Merri Lyn) Popa, of Houston, Texas, Mike Popa, of Traverse City, Chuck (Mary) Popa, of Traverse City, William (Sandra) Popa, of Houston, Texas, and Shelley (Joseph) Becker, of Traverse City; grandchildren, Christopher (Ashley) Popa, Jonathan Popa, Jennifer Popa, Justin Popa, Benjamin Popa, Heather (Eddie) Nickerson, Ryan (Brianna) Popa, Jordan (Maura) Popa, Danielle (Jake) Posch, and Kyle Popa; great-grandchildren, Landon, Kinslee and Reese; siblings, Alice McNeil, Katherine Stachnik, Julie (Joe) McAuliffe; in-laws, Don Herman, and Ruthie Popa; and many other loving family members and friends.
Leonard was greeted in heaven by his granddaughter, Nicole; his parents; siblings; and in-laws, Agnes (Joe) Brzezinski, Irene (Stanley) Walters, Gertrude (Meda) Lamie, Mary Popa, Teresa Herman, Rose Marie (Ralph) Couturier, Larry McNeil, Teddy Popa, Louie Stachnik, and Tommy Popa.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 with a rosary recited at 7:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at St. Francis Catholic Church, with a visitation beginning at 9 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Carmelite Monastery. Interment will take place in the spring at Oakwood Catholic Cemetery. Kindly share thoughts and memories with Leonard's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Published on November 14, 2017
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