David “Roadkill” W. Joppie

David “Roadkill” Wesley Joppie, 76, of Lansing, Michigan, passed away on January 31, 2024. He was born on December 7, 1947, in Hastings, Michigan, to Eleanor and Maurice Joppie.

Dave’s life was marked by dedication and service to his community. He attended and graduated from Everett High School before joining the workforce in 1969 as a police officer for the city of Lansing. After 25 years of service, he retired. During this time, he played a vital role in the “Special Tactics and Rescue Team.” He trained and became a skilled pilot in the police helicopter support unit, known as “LPD Air 80,” and retired from the K9 unit with his mostly loyal and ever-friendly dog, “Mitch.” Dave was fortunate enough to have found a career he likely would have done for free.

Beyond his professional life, Dave had a passion for working on anything mechanical for family and friends. He was a certified locksmith and an avid outdoorsman. He loved riding street motorcycles with friends and exploring the outdoors on his quad with his grandsons, Logan and Sebastian. Dave chatted daily with his eldest son, Bryan, discussing their endless projects, and once petitioned never lacked an opinion on how to pragmatically resolve most any problem. He continued to learn and refine his skill sets, working professionally with friends in plumbing and construction. Notably, he once pulled friends from a cabin explosion after being forcibly ejected through a wall while hunting.

Dave’s nickname, “Roadkill,” came from his “Waste Nothing” approach to life. He delighted his family with endless and sometimes unusual selections of freshly road-killed animals (never dogs or cats). His friends would call in to him at any hour to report roadkill finds. He also assisted his neighbors, whether they were widows or young people with criminal histories, basing every relationship on his personal experience with them, regardless of reputation or past deeds. Dave’s pragmatic approach to life left a lasting impact on those who knew him.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice Wesley Joppie and Eleanor Ruth (Powers) Joppie; brother, Willian Joppie; sister, Ardis M. (Joppie) Oakley; and his friendly dog and best friend, Mitch. He is survived by his wife, Betty Joppie; son, Bryan Joppie; daughter, Kelly Seavolt; stepchild, Anthony (Ines) Skutt; and grandchildren, Megan, Erin, Kyle, Tristan, Logan, Sebastian, Sara, and Blainey.

A funeral service honoring Dave’s life will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St., Lansing, MI. Visitation begins at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the chapel, with an LPD honor guard following.

In honoring David Joppie, let us remember his unwavering dedication, kindness, and unique spirit. May his memory continue to inspire us all.


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18 Messages to “David “Roadkill” W. Joppie

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Suzanne Moore
February 1, 2024 at 4:16 pm

To the Joppie Family: May your cherished memories of David bring you comfort and may knowing that he is in God’s loving embrace give you peace.

Melidy (Terrill) Atwood
February 2, 2024 at 9:28 am

I knew Dave from a few classes we each took at Lansing Everett. It has been more years than I care to quote but let’s say a long time ago. A quiet young man but always opening doors for the ladies and he had a smile on his face like he had a secret. My sympathies to his family but rest assured he is walking and talking to everyone in heaven. Rest in peace old friend. You will be missed.
Melody (Terrill) Atwood

Bill Backus
February 2, 2024 at 9:51 am

Prayers to Dave and Betty, and the family. David and I joined the Lansing Police Dept, April 28, 1969. Unfortunately I have not seen David very often since we have retired. We are in Florida for the winter, and will not be attending the funeral.

Bill & Nancy Backus.

Edward Forrest
February 2, 2024 at 10:56 am

To the Joppie family, Dave was one of my coach officers when I began my career at Lansing Police Department. He was a kind and down to earth person who provided me a very different perspective of how to perform my duties. I thank your family for sharing Dave with me and the citizens of Lansing. Any success I had in my career was profoundly impacted from Dave.
May our heavenly Father provide you and the family the comfort and peace which surpasses all understanding.

Tim Metts
February 2, 2024 at 11:01 am

May he rest in peace. Dave was a good man and did his share to keep the peace in Lansing. It was a pleasure to know him and to work with him. He will be remembered with a smile. We are in Texas and won’t be able to attend but our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tim & Connie Metts

Sam Campbell
February 4, 2024 at 10:11 am

May your family be surrounded by the love of God, and may you know that Dave will now be patrolling heaven. Having worked with Dave for over 25 years, I can tell you he was a great man.

Dan & Mary Joslyn
February 4, 2024 at 5:05 pm

Dave would stop by our house and chat with my husband, Dan Joslyn, about anything that had wheels. He was a delightful visitor! Prayers for his family. Rest in peace dearest Dave.

Carrie Gati and Family
February 4, 2024 at 8:33 pm

Dear Betty and Family, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. May God reach down and give you all peace. May Dave go rest high on that mountain until you all meet again. God Bless each and everyone of you.

Helen Perry-Buse
February 4, 2024 at 8:47 pm

My prayers and condolences to the Joppie family. I worked with Dave for many years and he was a good man, a good officer and a good friend.

Helen Perry-Buse

Bill and Sandy Burtch
February 5, 2024 at 9:15 am

Dave was one of the happiest and contented person I have ever met. I worked closely with him in the K9 Unit. Dave was matched with Mitch a dog we took a chance on. Dave made it work through hard work and dedication. To say Mitch was a handful is putting it mildly. I remember him showing off his new “Mitch” tattoo and I just shook my head and thought that is so Dave. Rest in peace my friend God always can use a good dog handler.

Ron clevenger
February 5, 2024 at 9:20 am

Dave was one of our best. Can’t remember him ever being down. Always up and
ready for whatever came his way. Cherish the memories.

Brenda Peltier Fernholz
February 5, 2024 at 9:30 am

David was a fine man and a great police officer. Was like to know him and his family especially his mother. Prayers and hugs to his family and friends.

Howard Clevenger
February 5, 2024 at 9:37 am

My thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family. Dave was a model police officer and good friend. He was also a good mechanic and worked on many of my cars and families cars over the years. RIP brother.

Howard Clevenger

Matt Ramsey
February 5, 2024 at 11:53 am

My condolences to the Joppie family. Dave was a good man with a big heart. He will be truly missed.

David D Dickson Jr
February 5, 2024 at 5:32 pm

A part of our LPD and Law Enforcement Family. Our good
Brother and Friend will be missed. We pray for Comfort and
Peace for the family and all of us during this time. We know
that we will reunite for GOD LOVES his Peace Officers. RIP
My Friend.

Mary Stevens
February 5, 2024 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been thinking about Dave ever since I heard the news. After working at LPD with him, I always doubted there was anything that Dave couldn’t fix. Long after Dave retired, I was living in Lansing while doing a house renovation and I was walking one of my shepherds by Dave’s house and ran into him. He invited me and my dog in and noticed that part of stitching on the leash was starting to come apart. I said I’d have to buy a new one and the next thing I knew, Dave had a leather repair kit out and stitched it back together! I of course laughed that it was yet another unknown talent and was grateful for his abilities. Dave was an overwhelmingly positive person but he was also one of the most practical people I’ve ever met. That is one of the greatest attributes a cop can have (and is a high compliment). You don’t have to be a genius or have fancy degrees to be a great cop, but someone who can quickly assess a situation, be able to talk to anyone, and figure out how to deal with it is pretty hard to find. Dave was a great cop and I was a better officer for working with him.

Rick Meaton
February 6, 2024 at 7:59 am

My deepest sympathies to the entire Joppie family. I had the privilege to be partnered up with Dave when I was a rookie on special shift. Dave led by example on how to fairly treat folks. As he did for many others, he repaired several of my cars and always offered a helping hand. May you rest in peace with the lord.

Gregory Ventre
February 6, 2024 at 11:36 am

Dave rest well in Heaven. May God comfort Betty and the kids. Dave Charlie and I were great freinds He will be missed but not forgotten.


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