Date of Birth November 28, 1949
Date Deceased February 2, 2022
Hometown North Hornell
Home State N.Y.
Service Date February 8, 2022
Service Time 8 p.m.
Service Location Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home

Jean Elizabeth Poplawski

NORTH HORNELL – Jean died on Wednesday (February 2, 2022) following a nearly two-year long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jean was born November 28, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pa. to Ruth (Schwenk) and Massimo DiDonato. She grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Philadelphia and attended the local Catholic parish grade school followed by an all-girls Catholic high school in Philadelphia. During her teen age years and up until she married, Jean lived with her Italian immigrant Grandmother who lived in a row home next to the family’s row home.

Jean attended Cabrini College in the Philadelphia suburbs earning a degree in Education. She taught grade school at the local parish school for six years. Following her teaching career, Jean worked as a Legal Secretary at two large law firms in downtown Philadelphia.

In 1979, Jean married Joel Poplawski of Wisconsin. They lived first in Jean’s old neighborhood but then moved to the suburbs north of Philadelphia. Both Jean and Joel worked in Philadelphia, so they were required to commute into the city. For Jean, this normally meant a car ride, a subway ride and finally a streetcar ride to get to the office.

In 1986 Jean and Joel moved to the Hornell area so Joel could continue his work in the rail transit business. In 1987, Jean took a position at Alfred University as the Executive Secretary to the V. P. for Business and Finance. Jean work at AU in various support staff and administrative positions for 25 years. Following retirement, Jean returned to AU for an additional year to replace a worker called to military service.

Jean joined St. Ann’s Catholic Church when she moved to the Hornell area and was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish at the time of her death. Throughout her life, Jean enjoyed interactions with her family including nieces, nephews and their children.

Housekeeping, gardening, walking, local travel, feeding the birds and caring for the cats were some of her passions. Later, Jean and Joel took up cycling riding recumbent tricycles.

Jean is survived by her husband, her father, two sisters, two brothers and seven nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother and her youngest brother.

Calling hours are 6-8 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 8, 2022) at the Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home, 285 Main St., Hornell where a funeral and committal service will take place following calling hours at 8 p.m. Tuesday, with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to the Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, NY 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

The Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home is honored to assist Jean’s family with the arrangements.

To leave your own personal remembrance or condolence you may click on the link below or visit the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home.

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11 Responses

  1. Steve and I are sadden to see that Jean has passed..she was one of our most loyal customers at Triple C’s. We named her the “Book Lady” as she would come n sit for an hour have lunch n ice cream n read her book. We will miss her.. Joel we are so sorry for you loss❤️

  2. Dear Joel,
    Peter and I are so sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May Jean rest in peace with the angels above.
    Sincere condolences 🙏.

  3. I had the pleasure of meeting Jean many years ago in the late 1990’s when I worked for a year at the Career Development Center at Alfred University. Since Hornell is my hometown, I would see Jean every now and then either at Alfred U or at church or at Wegmans whenever I was home for a visit! She was a wonderfully gracious and generous woman whom I always looked forward to seeing. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to her husband Joel as well as to Jean’s father, Mr. DiDonato, whom I had a fabulous conversation with at Dunkin Donuts when he was in Hornell for a visit years ago. As your Italian family name suggests, your daughter, Jean, was such a gift to all who knew her.

  4. My deepest sympathies to Joel and Jean’s family. Jean was a good person and a great friend. I will always remember the fun lunches we had over the years. Rest In Peace my friend.

  5. So many great memories of visiting the family while growing up. Glad we had a chance to reconnect. So sorry for your loss.

  6. To Joel and family you have my deepest condolences for your loss. Jean was a good person and a great friend. She will be missed. Rest In Peace my friend.

  7. So sorry to learn of this. JPop was one of my favorite people to work with at AU. Such a kind hearted, caring and thoughtful woman. Condolences to her loved ones in the days ahead. Godspeed JPop!

  8. I am so sorry to learn of Jean’s passing. She was a rock of support for so many years and so many people at Alfred University. Her love of travel, being outside, riding her trike, her cats, and of course Joel, will always make me smile. To this day, I think of Jean when I hear certain words she always used to pronounce with an Italian access. Rest easy, Jean.

  9. I am so sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. I met Jean a lifetime ago through a friend of mine and became friends. She will be missed by many as she was always upbeat and very knowledgeable.

  10. On behalf of Cabrini University, Jean’s alma mater, I would like to express the Cabrini Community’s sincere sorrow and offer condolences to Joel, her family and circle of friends. Jean attended Cabrini at a very important time in its development and was often very supportive.

    Please know Jean will be remembered at an upcoming mass on campus.

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