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June 26, 2022

David Sinclair Opperman Jr

David Sinclair Opperman Jr passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 14, 2022 at the age of 89.
David, know as JR or Junior to those that knew him best, was born on November 10, 1932 in San Jose, California to David Sinclair Opperman Sr and Elizabeth Titcomb. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister Elizabeth Shannon, known as Betsy; and grandson Austin Haworth. He is survived by his longtime companion Diana Smith; brother Steve (Shirley); children Kim (Fred Young), David III (Julie), Brian (Debbie), Marc, and Kara, along with their mother Gloria; as well as 15 grandchildren and 18 (and counting) great-grandchildren.
JR spent the majority of his youth on the Northern California coast. While he never finished formal education, JR had the Opperman work ethic and remarkable common sense that allowed him to understand how things worked. He served in the United States Air Force from 1952 – 1956 in Texas and Washington. When he was stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, WA; he served as Crew Chief in the 317 Fighter Squadron flying a F 86 D Saber Jet. After the Air Force, he worked with his father in the logging & lumber industry in Stewart’s Point/Cazadero, ultimately ending up in Healdsburg, California converting old logging trucks into water trucks with his father. He spent many weekends loading his family into the station wagon to travel locally to inspect wrecks and buy salvaged trucks. JR described the growth of their business as evolutionary, eventually expanding into buying and repairing used trucks to keep up with the demand for heavy duty equipment. David Opperman Sr founded Opperman & Son with his two sons, David Opperman Jr and Steve Opperman in 1964. JR dedicated his life to building the company with the help and support of his family until he retired in 1999. He continued to stop by “the shop” a few times a year to make sure everyone was still doing their job properly and to share his wisdom & passion for used truck sales and service with the next generation. He was extremely proud to watch the growth of the business following his retirement, due to the hard work of his brother, three sons, and dedicated employees.
JR lived a rich and full life, spending time doing the things he loved. Wrenching on trucks; ranching in northern California; boating in the Pacific Northwest; flying his airplane; hunting in Alaska, Colorado, among other places; traveling the United States and Canada in his motor home; and rock crawling in his Jeep with the Sidewinders Club out of Lake Havasu, who nicknamed him “Old Man”. JR made lifelong friends everywhere he went. He was easy to get along with and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to those who needed it. He was loved by many and he will be missed by all that knew him.
The family is hosting a Celebration of Life on Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 11:30am – 2:30pm at Opperman & Son Inc, located at 280 Kinley Drive in Healdsburg, California.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Austin Haworth Memorial Scholarship (St. John’s School in Healdsburg CA), the Wounded Warriors Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org), or a charity of your choice.