John Soper

John Willard Soper

1923 - 2020

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Obituary of John Willard Soper

John “Jack” Willard Soper, passed away peacefully at his home in Old Saybrook CT on February 13, 2020. Jack, as friends knew him, was the son of Helen Crocker Soper and Dr.Willard Burr Soper. He grew up in New Haven CT where he attended The Hopkins Grammar School and later resided in Fitchburg Massachusetts. He was smart, an avid reader, a competitive athlete, an entrepreneur, and a Jack-of-all-trades. He attended Brooks School, 1938 – 1942 where he played football, baseball and rowed crew, and was the captain of the hockey team. Jack entered Yale University in 1942, however at age 19 World War II interrupted Jack’s Yale education and he entered the US Army Air Force where he worked as a navigator in Aircraft Transportation in Great Falls, Montana. Jack returned to Yale in the fall of 1946, as part of the class of 1945 W. He studied economics, played varsity hockey, joined DKE fraternity and The Book and Snake Society at Yale graduating in 1949. Jack married Maxine Porter in 1947 and they had four children together. Willard, Jared, John and Martha. After Yale, Jack worked as an engineer at Union Manufacturing Company until 1956 when he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship at MIT. After receiving an MBA from MIT Jack founded Wilmart Inc., named after his oldest and youngest children. His company owned and operated automated car washes under the name of Top Notch Car Wash. In 1970 Jack married Martha Davis Parsons. The couple was married 46 years until she passed on in January of 2016. After retirement, the members and staff of the Old Lyme Country Club where he played golf, tennis and platform tennis became Jack’s second family. He was devoted to the club and his many friends that kept him active and young beyond his years. Jack leaves his four children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Jack will be laid to rest next to his parents, Helen Tufts Crocker and Dr. Willard Burr Soper, who also was a Yale graduate in the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven. A celebration of his life will be held at Saint John's Episcopal Church on the corner of Main and Cross Streets in Essex on a day and time to be announced.

Celebration of Life Service

Will be held at Saint John's Episcopal Church in Essex on a day and time to be announced.