A Cross at the edge of the Woods

White cross on a tree at the edge of the woodsDavid Bruce Popovich died sometime early on Sept. 30, 1995 on Mostetler Road east of Harrison, Michigan. According to the Clare County Cleaver, Popovich was the sole occupant of  a pickup truck that went out of control at a curve on the gravel road and flipped over. Popovich, a self-employed auto mechanic, was 41. He left behind a son, Joshua, who lived in Pontiac, Michigan along with three brothers.

I never knew Mr. Popovich or had even heard of him until a month ago when I was riding my bicycle on Mostetler and spotted a two-foot high cross tied to a tree at a curve in the road at the edge of the woods. The cross was well made but its white paint it had peeled and the writing, what remained, was faded. However, the date of birth and date of death was visible along with the words “in Memory of” in neat lettering.

Something touched me about that faded cross. Maybe it’s the fact that it had been forgotten and I wondered whether Mr. Popovich had too been forgotten nearly 16 years after his passing.  Maybe it’s the fact he had moved up to Harrison from Metro Detroit leaving his family behind, something I too recently have done due to a pending divorce.

After visiting the Cleaver and learning about Mr. Popovich and the details of the crash, I wanted to do something about the condition of the cross so I went to the site, untied it from the tree and took it home. As I sanded it in preparation for repainting I found that someone had put a gold necklace with cross over the upright of the cross. I wondered who had created the cross and placed it on the site and who had put the necklace there and did they still think of David on occasion.

The cross has been repainted and  has is tied to the tree.  I added the wording that I saw on the cross when I first saw it along with the name of the person it honors, although the name may not have been there originally. Maybe others will see the cross, and maybe they will slow down at they approach the curve so no one else will suffer the fate of Mr. Popovich. But if nothing else, I hope it honors a man whose life  ended at the edge of the woods.

Categories: Harrison, History, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A Cross at the edge of the Woods

  1. Robert Papovich

    My name is Bob Papovich, Dave’s cousin. His half brother, Spencer, contacted me and asked if I could try to find anything about David’s son, Joshua Popovich. I would appreciate any information about Dave’s son so I can pass that info along to Spencer. My dad misspelled our name when he was a little kid and the misspelling stuck, that’s why the spelling discrepancy. I can be found on FB under Robert Papovich or emailed at bpapovich6@frontier.com. Thank you for the post about Dave.

    • Hi Bob: Sorry, I know nothing about David’s family. You are the first to ever contact me as a result of this post. Wish I could help you. For whatever it’s worth, I do continue to take care of the cross and have painted it a couple of times since that first post. It’s still there where Dave lost his life. The small locket is still there, as well. Regards, Marty

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