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John Charles Popelka, 66, of Glencoe

John Charles Popelka, 66, of Glencoe, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at United Hospital in St. Paul.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Church of St. Pius X in Glencoe with the Rev. Anthony Stubeda officiating.
Kelly LeCrone was the song leader and Sue Mielke was the organist. Musical selections included “We Are the Light of the World,” “Lord, When You Come to the Seashore,” “Gift of Finest Wheat,” “Panis Angelicus” and “Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above.”
Honorary pallbearers were members of the Glencoe Catholic Cemetery Board.
Pallbearers were Patrick Barry, Steve Popelka, Jason Popelka, Taylor Alsleben, Ron Maresh and Pat Maresh.
Interment was in the Glencoe Catholic Cemetery in Glencoe.
John Charles Popelka, a child of God, was born to John C. and Mary (Vacek) Popelka on Jan. 17, 1948, at the Glencoe Municipal Hospital. He was baptized in January 1948 at St. Joseph Church in Silver Lake, and the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation were received at St. Peter and Paul Church in Glencoe. His education began in District 29 as a first grader, then St. Peter and Paul/St. Pius X School for second through eighth grades. He graduated from Glencoe High School with the class of 1965. He furthered his education by attending Nazareth Hall and Seminary for two years.
The Glencoe area has been home for Mr. Popelka for all his life, as he took over the family dairy farm in the late 1960s and stayed on the farm until health problems necessitated a change to less-physical labor. In April 1987, he took employment at the Glencoe Veterinary Clinic until he retired, but he continued to help part time at the clinic until his death.
There were challenges in his life that might have made others want to give up. But these strengthened his weak trust in God. It can be told today that alcoholism held his life hostage for 25 years, until Aug. 21, 1992, when, in the pit of hell, he turned to the help of AA — a turning point of teaching him to be of service to others and drawing him to be actively engaged in the Catholic faith.
Mr. Popelka was known to be a recycler, fix-it man and restorer of anything he was a steward over. His motto was not to discard, but to preserve. In his last years, he chose to live the single life, finding great fulfillment in always being available for others, church and community. In the past 16 years, Mr. Popelka was very involved at St. Pius Parish and School, serving in various ministries. God was his focal point; from there the church gave him strength to live life in this world to the fullest.
Mr. Popelka is survived by his brother, Francis (Delores) Popelka of Hopkins; sons, Charles Popelka and Gary Popelka; grandchildren, Taylor, Nathan and Chloe; and many relatives and friends in the Glencoe area and distances away.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Popelka; and sister, Margaret Schaeve.
Arrangements were with the Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel in Glencoe. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.