One of the difficult parts of this amazing adventure has been the physical distance from family and friends during important life events. We have missed weddings, the birth of our 7th grandchild – Cedar, graduations and the illness and loss of several friends and family. While phone, texting, email, Skype, and Face Book all serve an immensely vital purpose and I wouldn’t be here without them, it is simply not the same as being there. On April 6th my brother Bill succumbed to a long and well fought battle. I cannot continue this blog without including an eternal remembrance of his life and contributions to the world. Bill, RIP – We love you! Jim & Jo, Pat, Heather, Mike, Veta, Curt, Brooke, Lexi, Ashleigh, Liam, Klava, Nate, Leonie and Cedar!
William Howard Poppenger, Jr.
September 2, 1942 – April 6, 2016
Bill lived much of his life in and was one of Livonia, Michigan’s most loyal fans. He served a 400+ customer Free Press paper route (early morning delivery) for many years and more than once received a holiday tip from every grateful customer on the route. A 1962 graduate of Bentley High School, he reconnected with his wife of 44 years, Missy Sullivan, while working together on the planning committee for their ten-year class reunion. They were married in Livonia and lived in Rosedale Gardens, the exceptional neighborhood in which they both grew up. Missy brought four-year old Chris to their relationship followed by the birth of two beautiful sons, Carson and Adam.
In addition to a long and successful career as a City Planner for Livonia, Bill was a leader in the Jaycees and instrumental in bringing the Art Train for a visit to Livonia. He and Missy later moved to Brighton where he enjoyed a second career working in the tool department of Home Depot and where you may have met him, intentionally or not! Ultimately, upon retirement, Bill, Missy and Chris moved to Salt Lake City, Utah enjoying the caring support of Carson, his wife Amy and their three beautiful granddaughters, Belle, Emma, and Katelyn.
Bill and his family were lovers of all dogs and gave homes to many over the years – Fella, Shaggy, Gussie, Sniffer, River, Chief, Ruth, Morgan, to name a few but Kimber was his faithful companion to the very end. He also spent countless hours on creating a family tree before the Internet existed and became known in the family as the Doll House Maker. He all but completed a Victorian masterpiece for his grand-niece which he named Princess Leonie’s Pink Mansion.
A favorite image is of Bill as a 5 or 6 year old little blonde boy, dressed in his black and white cowboy gear riding the ottoman and watching Hop-Along-Cassidy on the newly acquired family TV.
Bill had a quick smile and an easy laugh but mostly he had a passion for hard work and tenaciously doing the very best job he could. His gentle, kind and generous manner along with his love of family served each of us well. Bill, rest in peace knowing that you have made this world a better place!
Dear Joanne, so very sorry for the loss of your dear brother. Kind dependable people must have been the norm in your family. I am truly sorry for your loss.
I just wanted to tell you that I have enjoyed reading your blog so much. You certainly have a gift for writing and an excellent perspective on life. I enjoy your positivity as well. I am a very long time friend of Kevin’s and former neighbor as well. My family lived on Hoy across Henry Ruff from Jim and Kevin.
Wishing you a happy and safe trip back to Michigan. Thank you for sharing your trip.
Melanie Klenk (formerly Young)
John and I are so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. Your tribute to him is beautiful.
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Bob and I are so sorry for your loss Joanie.