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Samuel Peter Opper

Samuel Peter Opper, 66, of Wheelersburg, passed away Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at the SOMC Hospice Center. He was born August 16, 1956, in Elmira, NY, a son of the late Michael and Theresa Ann Doran Opper.

Sam retired from HarbisonWalker International where he worked as a ceramic process engineer. He was a longtime member of St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church and was active in the Knights of Columbus and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Sam loved to tinker and be outside snow skiing, doing yard work or running to prepare for the Senior Olympics Games. He especially enjoyed time spent with his family and reading Sci-Fi books. A 1974 graduate of Thomas Edison High School in Elmira, Sam received at BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University in Alfred, NY.

Surviving Sam is his wife of 41 years, Susan Lynn Payne Opper, whom he married August 1, 1981, in Independence, MO. The couple have two children, Elaine Nicole (Barry Hanson) Opper of Byesville.Daniel and Ray Opper of Las Cruces, NM.

Also surviving are six brothers, Michael (Mary Ellen) Opper Jr. of East Brunswick, NJ, Patrick (Noreen) Opper of New Lebanon, NY, Nicholas (Mary) Opper of Port Charlotte, FL, Timothy (Mary Lou) Opper of Erin, NY, Francis “Frank” (Lisa) Opper of Myrtle Beach, SC and William “Bill” (Bonita) Opper of Endwell, NY; his sister, Margaret “Maggie” Opper Johnescu of Snowqualmie, WA; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.

In addition to his parents, Sam was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Jim Johnescu.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 A.M. Thursday, April 27 at St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church. Interment will be at a later date in Oak Ridge Memory Gardens in Independence, MO.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 26 from 5 to 8 P.M. at the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home in Portsmouth.

Memorial contributions may be made in Samuel’s name to the OSU Cancer Immunotherapy Research Fund (Fund Number 316121) at or The Ohio State University Foundation, University Square North, 14 E. 15th Ave. Columbus, OH 43201 or the Melanoma Research Foundation at


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