Paul Stanley Poplis, 78, of Reynoldsburg, passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Paul was born on June 18, 1945, in Springfield, Ohio. He is preceded in death by beloved parents, John and Adele Poplis. Paul was proceeded in death by beloved Mother and Father-inlaw, Katherine and Daniel Welsh, brother-in-law Edward Dixon, and nephew John Poplis.
Paul is survived by Barbara, his loving wife of 44 years. His sister, Carolyn Dixon and children Diane (James) Bonham, Susan (Steven) Wainfor, Joseph ( Debora). Brother and sister-in-law John and Laura Poplis and children Mark (Abby) and Jane (Bruce) Hembree. Brother-in-law, Chris and Beth Welsh and children, Carrie (Chandru), Erin (John), Daniel, McLain (Mac) (Amanda), and Grace. Sister-in-law and brother-in-law Paula and Chuck Hallau and children Charlie (Keri), Lauren, Kitty Craddock (Joe), Dan (Brittany) and Lizzy. Sister-in-law and brotherin-law Andrea Hauser and Dr. Mark Hauser and children Jeffrey (Elizabeth), and George Hauser. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews, cousins, and former sister-in-law, Debbie Welsh.
Paul was a food photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. His photography was wonderfully lit, large format illustrations of food. His work was seen national and internationally in cookbooks, advertising, packaging, catalogs and editorial illustrations. Paul earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University in 1967. He completed ROTC at OSU and served as an Air Force photo officer in Southeast Asia. In 1973, he earned a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University. He completed a post graduate studies at the Agfa Phototechnikum in Munich, Germany. Photographs by Paul received numerous awards, including inclusion in the PBS program, “American Image: 150 of Photography.”
Paul loved photography from childhood. He established a very successful and well regarded food photography studio in Columbus in 1979. His area of expertise was photographing beautiful, glorious food. His client list included well-known names in food service industry- White Castle, Marzetti’s, Cameron Mitchell restaurants, Bob Evans, Donato’s, Marco’s, the original Cheryl’s, Kitchen Aid, Red Gold, Woebber’s, Der Dutchman, Anchor Hocking, and many more. He worked with the pioneers of advertising, marketing and design in Columbus - Byer and Bowman, Shelley Berman Communications, Jack Haunty, Salvato and Coe, and many others. Paul loved his work and his creative partners- the staff of the agencies and he had a special relationship with the food stylists who helped him create beautiful, delicious images. In 1994, Paul built his own studio which he equipped with state of the art photography equipment and a kitchen, which “The Grumpy Gourmet” claimed was the best commercial kitchen in Columbus. Paul was blessed with a wonderful and loyal assistant, Donovan McKinney, who with worked Paul from1981 until Paul’s retirement in 2014. Donovan was really more than an 8-5 assistant. Donovan was his sounding board, “fixer,” “original Uber Eats driver,” computer guru. Donovan was willing and ready for any task Paul needed.
In his free time, Paul’s hobby was taking pictures, on vacation, in the kitchen, outdoors, family gatherings, and restaurants. He rarely went anywhere without his camera! Paul discovered the love of sailing. As Paul often said he bought “a book and a boat” when he was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He taught himself to sail and then put sailing aside for many years.
After he returned to sailing, he was the proud owner of 3 sailboats. Paul was a member of the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club. Paul enjoyed sailing in Cape Coral Fl. Paul loved all genres of music. He especially enjoyed classical music and Paul was a long time subscriber and supporter of the Columbus Symphony. He loved opera and during the 1990’s Paul appeared on stage with Opera Columbus as an extra or “supernumerary.” He appeared in a number of operas, including “Carmen,” “La Traviata,” “La Boheme,” and “Marriage of Figaro.” Paul and Barbara were fortunate to be able to travel and Paul enjoyed Viking cruises and European land travel with family and friends. Paul loved Florida and he was content to sit at the beach during winter months, reading and watching the Gulf of Mexico. After retirement in 2012, Paul joined The Reynoldsburg-Pickerington Rotary. He made many friends and did his part to support Rotary locally and worldwide.
A memorial service for Paul will be held on Friday, September 1, 2023 at Cotner Funeral Home, 7369 E. Main St. Reynoldsburg, OH at 10:30am with the family receiving guests 30 minutes prior to his service. A luncheon reception will be held by Paul's family at St. Pius X Catholic Church-Msgr. Funk Activity Center, 1051 Waggoner Rd. Reynoldsburg, OH, immediately following his memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the Poplis family suggest memorial contributions to The Ohio University Foundation - College of Fine Arts Lift Student Support Endowment or, Rotary Club Reynoldsburg-Pickerington Polio Fund, P.O. Box 1155, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.