Jacob Anthony Joppa Col USAF (Ret)
August 6, 1926 – November 30, 2018
Jacob Anthony Joppa, born Aug. 6, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois, died November 30, 2018, in Bellevue, Nebraska. He was preceded in death by parents, Jacob and Emily Joppa, and his beloved wife of 58 years, Dolores Joppa.
Jake’s 30 year career in the military began when he was drafted at the age of 18. He was training with the mule pack to move guns, but because he was 6’1”, he was selected to go to Vienna as a bodyguard for General Mark Clark. After the war he started college. An opportunity to take the Air Force pilot aptitude test was offered. He passed and following pilot’s training in San Antonio, TX, Jake was assigned to Wichita, KS, Orlando, FL, Fontainebleau, France, and Bellevue, NE. His final assignment was head of the SAC underground. After having served during 3 wars, Jake’s decorated career ended in 1975 and he retired as a full colonel. He and Dolores moved from Nebraska to Yellville and enlarged their home on Bull Shoals Lake. Jake then began to look at the needs of the community. He was head of the building committee that constructed St. Andrews Catholic Church, finished and dedicated in 1984.
Jake was also involved in the building of the Pine Mountain Fire Station, securing equipment and training for the volunteer fire fighters. This led to organizing first responders and eventually getting a helicopter pad for faster transfers. He headed up a committee to clean up the Midway Cemetery, hand-pouring and lettering markers for 86 graves. Annual gatherings are held every Memorial Day. Jake worked for 10 years setting up voting machines throughout Marion County. He truly enjoyed over 43 years in his adopted home!
After 4 months in hospice care, Jake died in Bellevue, Nebraska, surrounded by his family.
He is survived by daughter, Carolyn Conrath (Ed), son, Marty Joppa (Kay) both of Bellevue, granddaughters Andrea Conrath of Houston, TX, and Christie Rigilano (John Paul) of Baltimore, MD. He leaves two great-grandsons, Charles and Theodore, also of Baltimore, and many friends in the Yellville and Welcome Ridge communities.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Andrews Church, Yellville, Arkansas. The family will receive friends in the church hall before the service at 10:00. A luncheon will follow.
Following a memorial in Bellevue, NE, Jake will be interred in the Omaha National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Humane Society of Marion County Arkansas, Hwy 14, Yellville, AR 72687, St. Andrews Church,1486 US-62, Yellville, AR 72687, or Disabled Vets, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.