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In loving memory of
Michele Popko
  • May 08, 1954
  • -
  • August 20, 2021

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Michele J. Popko, 67, passed away on August 20, 2021 with Peter Anthony Popko, Jr., her husband of over46 years, by her side.

She was born in Norwich, CT and raised by her parents, Jack and Alice Faulkner, in Old Mystic, CT.  Starting in 1975, she spent 27 years as a faithful Coast Guard officer’s wife living in Hawaii twice, New York City twice, Florida, Maryland, and Virginia.  Prior to moving to The Villages in 2015, they lived in Barrington, Rhode Island for 18 years.

Michele is survived by her husband; her sister, Karen Williams, of Port St. Lucie, FL; and her two children who she loved dearly: Steven Popko of West Warwick, RI, and Marie Popko of Nashville, TN.

Michele was a fearless, self-taught, professional artist. Her artwork can be found in homes across the country as wall murals, canvasses, custom-painted furniture, glassware, platters, and watercolors. She painted sets for a musical theater production and decorated the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, RI, for a Christmas season. She painted her last mural at Lake Deaton United Methodist Church. 

She was known for her generosity; always willing to give a gift of her art work to a friend,  to support a charity; or to share her extensive knowledge of art in a classroom setting or one on one.

Her art was her passion but she also directed that passion toward other pursuits as a gourmet cook, a golf course club champion, an art teacher, president of a garden club, president of an officers’ wives club and even as a Cub Scout Den Mother. She traveled across the USA and to the Far East and Europe with friends and family learning about local art and cuisine which influenced her art work and cooking.

She was a genuine friend with a loving and open heart: adventurous, spontaneous, and spirited.

Michele’s ashes will be interred at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.  Her family is planning Celebration of Life gatherings in The Villages and in Connecticut in the coming months.

Donations in Michele’s name may be made to Hope for Justice (www.hopeforjustice.org) whose mission is to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society. 

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  1. Merlon Bassett says:
    04 Sep 2021
    Pete - so sad to hear abou the passing of your lovely wife Michelle. My memory of her will be of the joyous occasion of your daughter Marie post wedding celebration. The two of you especially her could not have been happier that night at the Biltmore. Take care of yourself - Merlon

  2. Merlon Bassett lit a candle:
    04 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 4, 2021 at 9:08:47 AM

  3. Dana B. Goward says:
    04 Sep 2021
    Michele was my very first good friend when I was a new CG Bride at Governors Island, NY. She made me feel so welcomed and as my neighbor we together had fun exploring Manhattan and working together at Macy’s on 34th street at Christmas time. I remember so many laughs with her and I am so saddened to hear of her passing because I was hoping we could reconnect once again, but that now won’t be. My husband and I send our prayers and heart felt condolences to all the family. God Bless!

  4. Joan Smith says:
    03 Sep 2021
    We will miss Michelle. We were the “B people” to her and Peter’s “A people.” We still display her painting ou our shared Ouse. Loved her art, especially her attention to detail. Remember Bruiser, the expressive-faced Great Dane? He always seemed to be in charge, even when Michelle escorted him around Nolan Park.

    Keep well, Peter and family. You will be in our thoughts.

    Joan and Doug Smith

  5. JeanMarie Josephson says:
    03 Sep 2021
    Michelle was a very special person whose loss will, I’m sure, leave a hole in the lives of her family and friends. I am fortunate to have a small painting of hers, of a lighthouse; apropos for RI. This was her contribution to our Women’s group Christmas present exchange. My thoughts and prayers are with Peter and family.

  6. Candy Hux says:
    03 Sep 2021
    I was very saddened to hear of Michele’s passing. I have many memories of the few short years we spent together that I treasure. She really was a special person. I still have a slate painting in my house that she painted for my dad. My prayers are that God will heal your hearts and give you all peace ❤️

  7. Debbie Austin says:
    03 Sep 2021
    So sorry for your loss. You are right very lucky to have know Michele. She was truly a special person and talented. I will remember her by the scarf she painted for me. Special.

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