R. Joseph Opperman, age 90 of Findlay, passed away at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the Heritage Legacy in Findlay. Joseph was born on September 11, 1928 in Findlay, Ohio to the late Rolland J. and Ruth (Simpson) Opperman, Sr.
Joe was married to Phyllis Jean Garman on March 29, 1953 and she preceded him in death on August 22, 2009. He is survived by their son, D. Jonathan (Amber D. Fannin) Opperman of Findlay; two granddaughters, Jessica (Adam) Hilty and Meghan Opperman (fiance Justin Cioppa); and great grandsons Landry Joseph Hilty and Tucker Lucas Hilty. He was preceded in death by his brother, Rolland J. “Jake” Opperman, Jr.
Joe served in the U.S. Navy from May 1946 to February 1948. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from September 1948 through August of 1951 and earned his Bachelors of Science. While at Miami University, he was a member of Alpha Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity, and was a member of the Miami University Glee Club. He then attended Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio from September 1951 through July 1954 and earned his JD.
Joe’s first job was as a paper boy for the Toledo Blade in downtown Findlay area, in 1942 and 1943. He then worked as a clerk and delivery boy at Grove’s Market on Lima Ave in Findlay from 1943-1946.
In June 1954 Joe joined the law department of the Ohio Oil Company in Findlay, Ohio. In 1960 he was transferred to the Casper, Wyoming Division office as a staff attorney. In 1962 he returned to Findlay where he remained in the law department at Marathon Oil Company until his retirement in 1986. He taught Business Law at Findlay College for two and a half years in the late 1950’s.
Joe was a former member of the American and Ohio Bar Associations, a member and former secretary of Findlay Bar Association, and served as chairman of the API Law Subcommittee on Health and Environmental Law until his retirement in 1986. Joe was active in the Junior Chamber in the middle 1950’s and was an organizer and on the first board and served as the president of Sycamore Springs Golf Course. He was also one of the founders and the first Secretary of Hancock Historical Museum Association as well as the associated Foundation, and helped to organize the United Way in Hancock County.
Joe was a member of the Amvets Post OH 21, BPOE Findlay #75, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio- Findlay No. 0227, Grand Chapter of Royal Masons of Ohio- Mt. Olive Chapter No. 189, Grand Council Royal and Select Masons of Ohio, Findlay Council 50, Findlay Commandery No. 49 Knights Templar, and Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Cleveland. He was a member of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, was a former member of the Men’s Club and trustee. He was on the Findlay City Planning Commission starting in September 1962. He was a certified pilot.
Part of Joe’s weekly routine was a Saturday morning shopping trip to Brinkman’s and Saturday night dining at the Bistro in Findlay.
The Opperman family would like to acknowledge their appreciation of Joe’s neighbors and the staff of the Heritage Legacy for their care and support.
Visitation for friends and family will be held from 2-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July, 14, 2019 at KIRKPATRICK-BEHNKE FUNERAL HOME 500 Lima Avenue Findlay, Ohio. A funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the funeral home with Pastor Jeffrey A. Motter officiating. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery.
Memorials can be made to Hancock Historical Museum, 422 West Sandusky Street, Findlay, Ohio 45840, or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com