John V. Poparad, 84, of Chesterton, passed away Monday, June 1, 2009 at the
Illiana VA Medical Center in Danville, Ill. after a prolonged illness.
He was born March 4, 1925 in Walkerton, Ind., the son of the late George and
Anna (Gusieila) Poparad who later established the family farm in Burns
John was married March 23, 1946 at Evangelical United Brethren Church in
Porter, Ind. to Wanda Ton, who preceded him in death Nov. 28, 1995.
John is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren Bernie (Paulene)
Poparad of Burns Harbor; their son Tony (Jeanine) Poparad of Carol Stream,
Ill. and his daughter Melanie Thelen of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and their
daughter Ali (Clint) Brown of Jackson Township and daughters Maggie and Emma
John also is survived by son Charles Poparad and his son Gregory Poparad,
both of Peoria Ill.; daughter Susan Poparad of Spring Texas; a sister, Rose
Lowry of Chesterton; goddaughter Anna Deahl of Indianapolis Ind.;
sisters-in-law Ruth “Babe” Poparad of Porter and Jeannette DeKoker of
Michigan City, Ind. as well as a niece and several nephews.
John was preceded in death by sisters Ann Toth and Jean Westbury and
brothers Nick, George, Danny and Emil Poparad.
John was drafted at age 18 from Chesterton High School in April, 1943
serving in the U.S. Army during World War II as a member of Company L, 143rd
Infantry Regiment, 36th Texas Division; he was discharged in 1945. John was
honored in a ceremony Feb. 6, 2008 at the VA medical center and awarded the
Bronze Star Medal, the Prisoner of War Medal and seven other decorations he
earned for heroic service to his country but never received.
John worked as a switchman on the EJ&E Railroad and as a 52-year member of
Operating Engineers Local 150 as an operator and craft foreman. He was a
member of Calumet Lodge #379 in Chesterton and Worshipful Master in 1984; a
charter member and former post commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post
2511 in Porter; and a former member of the Chesterton American Legion Post
Funeral services, Pastor Cathy Allison of Chesterton United Methodist Church
officiating, will be Friday, June 5 at 11 a.m. at White-Love Funeral Home,
525 South 2nd Street, Chesterton.
Visitation will be 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at White-Love with a Masonic
Memorial Service at 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials will be donated to the Palliative Care ward of the Danville VA