James “Jim/Poppy” Richard Kodlick, 77, of Beaver Springs, died peacefully on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, surrounded by his children.
Many labels can be used to describe who Jim was and what he did throughout his life – he was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, student, nurse, farmer, and veteran – but it was for his larger-than-life personality and, most importantly, his unwavering love for and devotion to his friends and family that he will be remembered most.
Always one to make an entrance, Jim was born on Christmas Day (December 25) 1942 in Coaldale, PA, the youngest of three children to the late John and Catherine (Bachorik) Kodlick. He grew up in the tight-knit coal mining community of Tamaqua, PA spending much of his time during his youth among countless aunts, uncles, and cousins building bonds that he cherished throughout his life. During his early school years, he founded and lead a ‘gang’ named The Trojans, made up of cousins and neighborhood friends, who mostly delivered newspapers, did good deeds, and played music together.
Jim was a 1960 graduate of Tamaqua High School, after which he attended the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1964. It was during this time that he met Susan (Rightmyer) Kodlick, who attended Chestnut Hill School of Nursing.
Jim and Sue married on September 16, 1967 and shortly after Jim entered the Army Nurse Corps in 1968 and served during the Vietnam conflict at the military hospital on Tachikawa Air Base near Tokyo, Japan. Sue joined him there in service to our soldiers by volunteering as a Registered Nurse. Jim and Sue spent two plus years exploring the Japanese countryside, eagerly learning the local culture and customs, and making many friends and memories. It was likely there that their shared passion for travel began, enjoying cultural sites and capturing their adventures with black and white photography. Their time in Japan set the tone for a lifetime of cultural and artistic appreciation.
They began their family in Japan, welcoming their first child, son Jimmie (James Richard II) in 1969. Upon returning home, they bought a farm and land in the Beaver Springs area to be near family. Jim and Sue began their professional careers in the area at the Laurelton State Center where he served as the Clinical Director for over 30 years. Jim also continued his education during this period, graduating from Bloomsburg University in 1976 and Penn State University in 1980 with a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling. It was during this time that Jim developed his lifelong love for Penn State Nittany Lions athletics, retaining season football tickets and attending countless games and tailgates with family and friends for over forty years.
But Jim’s true passion was family and creating a legacy. Jim and Sue expanded their family by welcoming their daughters Susanna in 1972 and Johanna in 1978, and they focused on working their farm in their “spare time”. Jim decided he wanted sheep, and so Kodlick Farms was established, and Jim delved into becoming a member of the local farming community. His hobby turned into many years of lambing, shearing, and making hay while Sue built glorious vegetable and flower gardens and they reared their children to appreciate nature and the value of hard work.
Jim remained an active member of the military as an Army Reservist with the 316th Station Hospital Unit and was again called to serve in 1990 at the King Fahad Hospital in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Jim retired from the military after 23 years at the rank of Lt. Colonel. Jim was a decorated marksman, a true patriot, and was an avid proponent of military tradition, honor, and valor. He was extremely proud of his service to his country, as is his family.
Jim reared his children and enjoyed the good life with Sue for many years and they continued their adventures by exploring the globe from Galapagos to Alaska, Belize to Ireland, and many places in between. Jim was an outstanding steward of the soil, water, and wildlife of Pennsylvania. He was an ardent supporter of fellow veterans and veterans’ programs. In 1995 he became a member of the Mifflinburg Masonic Lodge #370. He was an avid sportsman and hunter, and a longstanding member and Trustee of the New Milford Rod and Gun Club where he spent quality “man time” with his adult cousins and friends, and later his son and grandsons as they came of age. He also loved to share the experience with extended family during endless summer days of blueberry picking and swimming in the Schrader Creek.
But it was always the farm that was the center of his family. Jim loved nothing more than having his family and friends gather near his hearth and home. Jim had a deep intelligence and a wise sense of humor that he deployed with speed and precision. He was a steadfast, kind, and true friend. He was a never-ending source of good advice and trustworthy information to all who confided in him. He loved his family more than anything, and his legacy is strong within each of them.
Surviving in addition to his wife Sue are his son and daughter-in-law James and Marcia (Menihan) Kodlick of Mechanicsburg; two daughters, Susanna (Kodlick) Jackson of Winfield, and Johanna Kodlick and her partner Anthony Lattarulo of Lewisburg; one brother and sister-in-law John and Paula Kodlick of Arizona; one sister Shirley (Kodlick) Gross of Lewisburg; four grandchildren, James Richard Kodlick III, William Paul Kodlick, Elise Brooke Jackson, and Luciana Jane Lattarulo; and many cherished cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 6, 2020, at the Roupp Funeral Home, Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Rd., Mifflinburg. Those in attendance should wear masks and social distancing will be in effect.
A private interment with military honors will be held at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater PA Chapter, 2595 Interstate Dr., Ste 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110
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Alzheimer’s Association, Greater PA Chapter
2595 Interstate Dr., Ste 100, Harrisburg PA 17110