Tobey Lee Popstein, a lifelong resident of the area, passed away on July 13, 2023 in the home he built and loved, just outside of Port Jervis.
Tobey was born in Joliet, Illinois on March 16, 1950, to Frank Fred Popstein and Margaret Wechler-Kriegsman Popstein. He moved to Port Jervis with his family in 1953, and chose to call this community home ever since. He graduated from Port Jervis High School in 1969, and with the Vietnam War still raging, entered active duty in the United States Navy just a couple of months later, on September 2,
1969. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. America, where his duties kept him assigned off the coast of Vietnam and to other regions such as Panama. Tobey received an honorable discharge on May 7, 1975 with citations for exemplary service and dedication.
It was during his military service overseas that Tobey sustained an injury that led to pain, multiple surgeries, and joint replacements throughout his life. Yet he did not allow his physical problems to keep him from enjoying the things he loved. He remained especially proud to have served in the Navy, to have served his country overseas, and to remain a life member of the Tri-States VFW Naval Ship.
Upon completion of his military service, Tobey graduated from Orange County Community College along with several trade schools. He started and ran his own successful air conditioning and plumbing business until recent years, when health issues caused him to retire. He only gave up his plumbing license recently.
Tobey was a true middle child, with six surviving siblings -- three older and three younger than him. He loved growing up in this family and in what he always considered his hometown, Port Jervis, NY.
In recent years, Tobey’s treasured home was the recipient of his community’s care, given in gratitude for his dedicated military service and lifetime of service to his hometown. Tobey’s home was completely painted and cared for inside and out by a joint venture between the Matamoras Home Depot, Tri-State Naval Ship, Port Jervis Elks, Nam Knights Orange County chapter, RECAP, and a small group of friends and neighbors. This meant a great deal to Tobey, especially being able to share this time with this group. Tobey was also scheduled to be part of the recent Orange County Honor Flight. However, he had to decline for physical health issues the day before it departed. In typical Tobey outlook, he viewed this as simply putting it off to enjoy it in better health this fall.
Tobey was easy-going, kind, caring, witty, funny, dedicated, and very talented musically and visually. He was in a band in his younger years, and played multiple instruments by ear. This included his guitar, piano, and trumpet. As a student in middle and high school, he was sometimes called to briefly leave school to play TAPS at veterans’ funerals. He was very proud to have continued to play Taps at such occasions throughout his life. Having lost his own trumpet, he was given a trumpet by a local resident recently, and gave his all to trying to practice and start doing this again. He was a talented photographer and videographer, and loved going to parades, soapbox derbies, and other local events, taking his grandchildren with him in their younger years.
Tobey is survived by his daughter Lisa Rivera of Shohola, PA; His six siblings, Bette Scott (late Ray Scott) of Albuquerque, N.Mexico, Carl Popstein of Fresno, CA, Steven Popstein of Rogers, AK, Ralph Popstein of Conway, SC, David Popstein (Vicki Popstein) of Port Jervis, NY, Marie Brozek (William) of Albion, NY; His three grandchildren, Ashley Marie Rivera (Zach Brown) of Sparrowbush, NY, Johnathan Tyler Rivera (Sonia Bonawicz) of U.S. Army, Washington State, and Brittany Amber Rivera of Port Jervis, NY; His great grandchildren Jacob Rivera, Lilly-anna Rivera, O’Ryan Bonawitz, and Jaxon Brown; Multiple nieces and nephews, and several lifelong close friends, Pat Dunn, Daryl McKeeby, Stan and Sharon Siegel and family, and his longest friend, the late George Markiewicz, Diane Sparks, and their family, Amy Markiewicz Muckinhaupt (Jon), Kristy Markiewicz Ritter (Aaron), Joseph Markiewicz (Brittany), Stephen
Markiewicz (Brittany), and Ashley Markiewicz Hall (Ryan), of Meadville, PA.
Tobey’s final arrangements are by Knight Auchmoody Funeral Home. He will be cremated and a special memorial service will be held on September 16, 2023 at 11:00am, at the Tri-States Naval Ship, 46 Barcelow Street, Port Jervis, NY.
If you would like to leave a memory or condolence, please visit Tobey's Tribute Wall.
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