James Henry Poppy, 87, of Hailey, Idaho, passed away on June 18. He is survived by his four children and nine grandchildren.
“Jim” was born on May 18, 1927, in Iron Mountain, Mich. He attended the University of Michigan where he earned his medical degree in obstetrics and gynecology. Jim married Martha Chandler in 1951 and they lived in Ann Arbor for eight years, where their four children were born: William, James, Susan and Martha. In June 1959, the family moved to Atherton, Calif., where they lived until Jim retired from medical practice in 1987.
Jim and Martha fell in love with the Sun Valley, Idaho, area after their first visit in 1961, and they returned annually with family and friends until they became full-time residents in 1987. They were avid skiers and passed along their love of winter sports to their children by enrolling them in the Sun Valley Ski School during their annual ski vacations. The family also enjoyed hiking, backpacking, tennis and water skiing.
Jim and Martha hiked and climbed many of the tallest mountains in the United States. They also hiked to the Mount Everest and K2 base camps, and to Gasherbrum 1 and 2 and Broad Peak in the Baltoro Karakoram. They also skied the Haute Route in the European Alps on standard Nordic skis with pin bindings.
“Dr. Poppy” was highly regarded among his peers as an exemplary physician and skilled surgeon, and his patients respected and admired his gentle and compassionate manner. He made an extra effort to stay in touch with friends and extended family across the United States, and he was universally admired for his integrity, sense of humor and thoughtfulness.
Jim derived immense satisfaction from his philanthropic endeavors. In 1991, he funded a trust to provide ongoing support to the Stanford tennis team. In 2004, Jim and Martha created the Martha Chandler Endowed Scholarship Fund for the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, providing financial aid to art and design students.
Jim also established a scholarship fund at the Iron Mountain High School to provide financial assistance to local students who will be attending the University of Michigan. Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name by sending a check payable to the Poppy Family Scholarship to the Scholarship Administrator, Iron Mountain High School, 300 West B St., Iron Mountain, MI 49801.
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