CHARLTON – John Peter Popiak, 73, of Willis Drive, died peacefully on Saturday, June 20, 2020, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Diane G. (McGowan) Popiak of Charlton; three children, Col. John F. Popiak and his wife Elizabeth of Evans, GA, Heather M. (Popiak) Brothers of Woodstock, CT, and Daryl A. (Popiak) Hamilton and her husband Justin of North Grosvenordale, CT; two stepsons, Eric W. Dieffenbach and his wife Elizabeth of North Providence, RI, and Adam W. Dieffenbach of Coventry, RI; a brother, Thomas Popiak and his wife Joyce of North Grosvenordale, CT; eight grandchildren and two nieces. He was born in Webster, son of the late Peter P. and Esther C. (Rodman) Popiak, and lived in Charlton since 1986. He graduated from Bartlett High School in Webster in 1964 and received his associate’s degree from Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester.
Mr. Popiak was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, earning the Air Medal among his other awards and decorations for his service in Vietnam. He later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, retiring as a Master Sergeant after 20 years receiving the Meritorious Service Medal.
Mr. Popiak worked as a lineman at New England Telephone, retiring as a supervisor from Verizon in 2004 after 30 years with the company. He was a member of the Auburn Elks and served on the board of directors of the South Charlton Reservoir Association. He enjoyed traveling, boating, and fishing, and was an avid NASCAR and Disney fan.
A private graveside service will be held at St. Joseph’s Garden of Peace in Webster. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., SW120, Boston, MA 02215. Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.