Tribute to Tom Popcheff

Speedway residents are mourning the loss of a beloved neighbor, community leader, and friend. On Sunday, April 5th, Tom Popcheff lost his fight against COVID-19 on his 69th birthday. Town of Speedway leaders say Tom has left behind a spot in the community that will be hard to fill.

“Tom was a dedicated volunteer and champion for the Town of Speedway. He has served the last several years on the Speedway Redevelopment Commission using his professional skills and enthusiasm to promote and improve the community he so dearly loved,” stated Tim Gropp, economic development director for the Town of Speedway. “I had the privilege to work side by side with Tom in his role as SRC President the last two years. We will miss his leadership, kindness and humor he brought to all of our meetings.”

Tom enjoyed serving on the SRC and used his business acumen to lead the group in making decisions that would help the Town of Speedway grow and thrive. Brody Duncan of the SRC said, “He kept our focus on making the Town of Speedway a better place to live, while striving to meet the needs of our community.” Tom was a mentor to the SRC members. “He would use his time to listen to your opinion and point of view, then work through a conversation and find a way to move the thoughts and ideas to a better place. Tom always seemed to engage and connect with people from all walks of life. I know he always found a way to make my family smile,” stated Duncan.

Tom didn’t just serve on the Redevelopment Commission though. He was an active member on the Speedway Library Board, part of the Old Speedway City Neighborhood Association board, and former member of both the Economic Development Commission and Community Development Corporation. He was also in the process of founding the new Speedway Historical Society and had been looking forward to planning for the town’s centennial in 2026. In every capacity Tom served, he brought value and excellent guidance to the table. Darsi Bohr of Speedway Public Library said, “His extensive knowledge combined with his deep humanity made him both firm and fair. Tom was also an unceasing supporter of Speedway and helped the library make stronger contacts with many Speedway organizations.”

As a leader in the Town of Speedway, Tom left a lasting impression on those he worked with, not just as an advisor, but also a friend. “Those fortunate enough to know Tom knew he was a true public servant who cared deeply about the Town of Speedway.  He was a good friend to me and good friend to our community.  I will miss his notes of encouragement, advice, and infallible willingness to lend a hand wherever needed.  It’s hard to overstate Tom’s contributions to our community,” stated Clerk-Treasurer Jacob Blasdel.

Tom moved to Speedway Elementary during his kindergarten year in 1957. Not surprisingly, he excelled during his time at Speedway Schools. He was president of his junior class and was involved in the National Honor Society, student council, and several sports. Though he moved away for some time after high school, he never stopped being a Speedway Sparkplug.

“I knew Tom and his family by growing up with him at St. Christopher Church,” stated Vince Noblet, vice president of the Speedway Town Council. “Tom was one of those individuals that never met a stranger and could make friends very easily. I was always impressed by Tom's easy-going nature and the sense of kindness he projected to everyone he met.  I have always enjoyed his conversations and his ability to make sure he included everyone in the decision-making process of making Speedway a better place to live.”

“When Tom and Karen Popcheff moved back home to Speedway, Tom stepped up right away to get involved,” remembered Gary Raikes of Speedway Town Council. “I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Tom as he served on many boards and commissions. He was a very kind man, and a highly respected business administrator. Tom became my friend and mentor over the past 12 years, and was to many others as well. I will miss our regular conversations on anything and everything going on in town, but I will miss Tom’s friendship the most.”

Even in his absence, Tom Popcheff will continue to lead the Town of Speedway in the right direction. “Tom’s impact on our community was immeasurable and we’re still seeing it today. He mentored our leadership, provided guidance on projects, and always kept us focused on what was best for the residents of Speedway. His wisdom and strength will continue to steer us in the right direction moving forward because we’re all better off for having worked with him,” stated Town Council President, David Lindsey. “Our hearts go out to his wife, Karen, and their entire family. Just knowing how hard this loss has rattled our team - we cannot begin to imagine how devastated those of you who had the privilege to be closest to Tom feel.” 

The Speedway Town Council and leadership team would like to thank Tom Popcheff for his many years of service and dedication to the Town of Speedway. He will be greatly missed.

Contact Us

1450 N Lynhurst Dr
Speedway, IN 46224
Get Directions