Louis Beckley Popovich was born on June 28, 1927 in Astoria, Queens and died at the age of 92 on August 23, 2019 in Great Neck, NY, surrounded by his son Steve, daughter Kathy, son in-law Bob, and live-in aide Joseph.
Courageously living with advanced prostate cancer the last four years, Lou was able to pass peacefully at his home, as he had wished.
After attending Newtown High School while also working as an usher in the grand theatres on Steinway Street, Lou enlisted into the Navy at age 17 and served at the tail end of WWII aboard the battleship North Carolina.
A proud 1951 graduate of the Academy of Aeronautics in Queens (often showing off the propeller on his class ring), Lou worked for ~38 years in the aerospace industry (first at Chance Vought in Texas, then on Long Island at Grumman Aerospace Corporation, Fairchild Republic and Grumman again) and at various times was Engineering Manager or Program Director for various Navy and Air Force jets.
Good enough”, “Not to worry”, and “We’ll make it work” are not necessarily phrases Grumman executives liked to hear from the program manager of one of their aircraft, but Lou had a ‘get it done’ attitude, never sweated the details, and was confident that he could engineer a solution for any problem.
His conversations were filled with the lessons learned, travel experiences and interesting stories gleaned from this period of his life. And his apartment (aka The Museum) is filled with framed photos and memorabilia from his work experiences.
Always positive, prepared and well organized, he carried those traits into retirement - first In Farmingdale and then in Cape Coral - and he enjoyed challenges like rebuilding old cars, tinkering on his boats, or fixing things around the house.
He stayed very active and engaged into his 90s, followed current events closely, and every year he continued to support the New York Jets. Over the years he owned vacation homes in Florida and Idaho but always kept a ‘base of operations’ in NY, eventually ‘coming out of retirement’ from Cape Coral in 1999 to settle in Great Neck.
Over the last 20 years Lou served as President, VP or Treasurer of the Battleship North Carolina Association, coordinating and attending the yearly crew and family reunions. He was also a member of the local American Legion (304) in Manhasset and regularly attended Sunday 10:30 mass at St Mary’s.
Like others from the Greatest Generation, Lou was a man who took care of family and friends, was kind to strangers, open to new perspectives and never backed down from a challenge. He always carried a pleasant demeanor and a twinkle in his eye, but was also quick to offer a witty or teasing observation. His smirk is legendary.
He leaves behind a legacy of providing for others and he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and former co-workers and crew members.
In lieu of flowers please consider donations in the name of Lou Popovich to:
The Battleship North Carolina (http://www.battleshipnc.com/contact/)
The North Shore Animal League (https://www.animalleague.org/contact-us/)
St Jude’s Children’s Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/)
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