Hobart man overcame obstacles

2014-04-02T11:00:00Z Hobart man overcame obstaclesCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 02, 2014 11:00 am  • 

Joe Popp had a contagious smile and a love of people and was always anxious to help anyone in need, said his son, Greg Popp.

Joseph Popp, 94, of Hobart, died Jan. 16. He was a retired manufacturers representative and retired owner of Chart Pool USA, Inc., in Portage, which he had founded.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mabel Popp and second wife, Elinor Popp.

Popp and his Ukranian-immigrant parents settled in Northwest Indiana, where they farmed a large plot in Jackson Township, his son said.

“He was very industrious, and built one of the largest poultry farms in Porter County,” he said. “He produced very high quality eggs and he delivered his fresh eggs to customers in Chicago and surrounding neighborhoods in a panel van.”

When World War II started, he enlisted and served as an Army medic during World War II, where he served in the Second Portable Surgical Hospital, attached to the 155 Infantry Regiment, 31st Infantry Division.

“He bravely served the country he loved,” his son said. “He witnessed firsthand the horrors of combat, he spoke openly about his experiences overseas and always showed gratitude for being one of the lucky ones to return home.”

After the war, he settled in Hobart and raised five children, his son said.

“He was always an entrepreneur, and started several companies, including Gary Undercoating, Gary Bug Fogging and eventually, Chart Pool USA,” he said.

He had served on the board of directors for Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, Indiana, and was active with the Gideon’s International, where he volunteered to distribute Bibles.

“He was a very dedicated steward of the Lord and concentrated all his efforts toward helping others,” he said. “During the 70s, he would volunteer at the Michigan City Prison. He would check himself in on Friday evening and counsel prisoners until Sunday evening.”

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