Popeye has gone home. Devoted husband, father, friend and beloved “Popeye” to his grandkids, James Gerard Kodad left for Glory on the morning of Monday, October 26th, 2020, after a brief battle with lung cancer.
Born the fourth of five children to Paul and Natalie Kodad in Boston on November 23, 1943, he leaves behind a sister Natalie, brothers Paul and John. His oldest brother Bill having died many years ago.
Jim left Boston in July of 1962, after having joined the Air Force. At 19, he had never been out of Massachusetts before, so the Air Force made it easy for him, and sent him to San Antonio, Texas for basic training. Culture and climate shock in one package. He was subsequently stationed in Mississippi, Japan, and Germany. His two oldest sons were born in Germany to him and Jacoba Kodad; James Michael in January of 1969 followed by Paul William in December 1969. His “Irish Twins” as he called them.
The last part of Jim’s military career was spent at Tinker Air Force Base, where he was a medic. This led him to go on to study nursing, and he graduated from Oklahoma State University with a nursing degree, becoming an RN, primarily emergency nursing and as a supervisor of nurses.
After his first marriage unfortunately ended, he worked at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. There he met a mousy little night shift nurse who would become the love of his life. They would marry in 1979, and welcome a third son, Matthew, in November of 1984. Jim died just three weeks shy of their 41st anniversary.
Jim Kodad never met a stranger. At the grocery store, bookstore, coffee shop, Home Depot. It didn’t matter where, he would talk to EVERYBODY. In about 4 minutes, he would know all about them. He always ended their discussions with, “What can I pray about for you today?” He did not witness for the Lord, he was a LIVING witness for Him.
In addition to his siblings, Jim leaves behind his wife, Linda, sons Jim, Paul, and Matt, two wonderful daughters-in-law, Diana and Donna, precious ladies Carrie and Sarah, and a “Daughter-In-Love” Danielle Santiago and her husband, our “Son-In-Love” Vinnie.
Popeye’s grandkids include Trystin, Kylie, Gage, Maddie, Sydney, and James. Ranging in age from 6 to 21, they all have loved their Popeye, and he will be tremendously missed.
We miss you Jim, but know your are probably busy in Heaven teaching the angels ‘60’s rock and roll. We’ll always love you.
A memorial service to celebrate Jim’s life is planned for the spring at Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin. Further details will be provided as the time draws closer.
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