David Popowich’s work ethic was unlike that of most people. He woke up very day at 2:30 a.m., but was always home at 6:15 for family dinner, always with a smile on his face.
David Popowich was inseparable from his wife, Lorraine. Even as Lorraine battled cancer, he cared for her every step of the way until she passed away in December. Nine weeks later, on Jan. 30, Popowich, 85, passed away due to congestive heart failure.
“My father died of a broken heart,” said his daughter Lisa Popowich. “Every day, he was devoted to her. He was devoted to his family.”
His Philadelphia-based company, Regal Industries, which started as a small family business, grew to be the largest importer of watchbands in the country. Before he and his siblings sold it in 1996, they moved the manufacturing to Hong Kong and China.
Her father’s work ethic was unlike that of most people, Lisa Popowich said. He woke up very day at 2:30 a.m., but was always home at 6:15 for family dinner. Lisa worked with him for a decade and recalled how he always had a smile on his face. She jokingly said he never made a decision without her mom’s approval.
“Truthfully, it was my mother who encouraged him to think big,” she said. “My mother was the driving force to move the business.”
When he became successful, he gave back to the community, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Congregation Adath Jeshurun and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
An emotional Popowich recalled how, when her father hit 60, her mother told him he could not go to work at 3 a.m. anymore. Although he was not happy about it, he obliged.
Bernard Newman, president of Jewish Federation, was David Popowich’s brother-in-law, and the couples were very close.
“David was a wonderful and devoted husband,” Newman said. “He basically gave up anything and everything to be with her.”
His wife was his No. 1 priority, he said.
“My brother-in-law was a sweet, nice and gentle man,” he said. “He had a way about him that was very endearing.”
He reminisced about a time when Popowich asked him if his wife gave him an allowance. Newman replied that he received $75 or $100. Shocked, Popowich replied, “$75! I’ll take that. My wife gives me $25, but I have to write a report if I need any more and need an application for it.”
“He said, ‘What, you get that much money, that’s unbelievable — you’re my hero,’ ” Newman said.
Popowich is survived by his three children, Lisa Popowich, (Jonathan Stein), Andrea Popowich Meislin (Robert) and Yale Popowich (Tina Skouras).
He is also survived by his grandchildren Rachel, Sophie, Ariel, Benjamin, Harry and Julian, as well as his siblings Sylvia Pomerantz, Leonard Popowich, Cecilia Serling and Maury Popowich.
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0747