Joe was born on January 11, 1932, in Marietta, Ohio to Alfred G. and
Cornelia J. Oppe. He is preceded in death by his son Steven, two brothers,
Jack and James Oppe and grand niece Julia Oppe. He is survived by his wife
Barbara, daughter Mary Champlin, her husband Tony and 3 grandchildren,
Sarah, William and Crystal, one nephew, 3 nieces and their families.
Joe graduated from Marietta High School with the class of 1949. After
proudly serving in the Navy he continued his undergraduate education at
Marietta College and received his master's degree in Botany from the
University of Idaho in 1959. He had fond memories of the years he spent
growing up in Marietta and enjoyed rekindling old friendships when he
returned to the area in 2004.
His career in public horticulture took him across the United States from
Ohio to Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Kansas, Florida, Iowa and finally
back to the Mid Ohio Valley. He enjoyed the unique opportunities of each
place and never left without friendships that would last a lifetime.
As a part of his career he was active in a many related organizations. He
served on advisory committees and boards and was proud to be named as an
Honorary Life Member of The American Association of Botanical Gardens and
Along with his professional career he was dedicated to his service as a
Rotarian. His Rotary membership began in 1965 and continued as he moved
about the country and finally back to Parkersburg. He was president of the
Rotary Club of Swarthmore (PA) and the Rotary Club of Wood County.
No remembrance of Joe's life would be complete without mentioning his
passion for trout fishing. His fly-fishing skills were passed on to some of
his dearest friends and family during the many visits to his favorite
fishing "holes" on the St Joe River in Idaho. His cremains will be scattered
there later this year.
Joe embraced life, loved his family and cherished his friends.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Rotary Club of Wood County at PO Box 5068 Vienna, WV 26105 or
a charitable organization of your choice.
Friends may call at his home between 4 and 7 pm on January 11.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.LeavittFuneralHome.com