James Priebe aka Pops. Born in Detroit on August 14, 1929, the youngest of seven Depression Era kids and the last to survive. (Leona, Doris, Ray, John, Teresa and Helen)
Loving, devoted husband of Marian. Father of Mike (Cindy), Lois, Dave (Jill), Carol (Mike) and Peggy (The late Big Bill Myers). Stepfather to Barb (Dave) and Chuck (Pamela). Awesome Grandpa/Papa Jim to Allyson, Brian, Nicole, Brad, Aaron, Kyle, Meaghan, Josh, Patrick and Bryce. But wait, there’s more. Also, Great Grandfather to Mason and Harper. And he was
Uncle Jimmy for too many nieces and nephews to count.
Preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia, his infant son Timothy and his son and very best friend, Chris (Johna), who will surely be waiting to greet him at that big casino in the sky.
Pops was a Sergeant in the Army during the Korean War and afterwards he and Patricia settled in Dearborn Heights to raise their quickly large family. Insurance was his chosen occupation. Unfortunately, he found himself a single father at a very young age. So, he became a SuperParent who was both a Father and Mother and raised 6 kids singlehandedly. Try doing that. No doubt his sense of humor was one of his keys to success. He gave them a great childhood and along the way provided the family with an endless collection of funny stories to retell.
In 1982 he hit the jackpot again when he married Marian and they created their own version of The Brady Bunch, with Barb and Chuck joining The Priebe Bunch. He thoroughly enjoyed retirement and his large family.
Pops loved fishing, ice fishing, shooting pool, betting on shooting pool, playing the ponies, throwing horseshoes, hitting the casino, tending his lawn, spoiling the Grandkids, following the Tigers, traveling with Marian, Match Game reruns and Pinochle with the girls. Quick anecdote: The kids found out years later that he purchased their back yard swimming pool the day after he hit a big Perfecta at the track. But his favorite sport had to be bowling. He was in bowling leagues all his life with friends, brothers, nephews and of course his boys – which included an honorary Priebe - the late Hollywood Joe Maceri. Pops proudly bowled two 300 games and had the rings to prove it.
He made a lasting impression on everyone he met. Seemed everyone knew Pops and everyone loved Pops. He had many memorable catch phrases, but his favorite was “Keep Smiling”.
Which he did. Simply put: You’re Tops, Pops!