August 14, 2003



Frank John Roper

Frank John Roper “Swampfox” of Springfield died Friday, Aug. 1, serving his country in Bedfordshire, U.K., as a captain in the United States Air Force. He was 28.

Captain Roper graduated with honors from Greenon High School, where he was a member of the varsity football and track teams. He also worked at Young’s Jersey Dairy throughout high school.

He attended Marion Military Institute in Alabama and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he graduated in 1998.

He was a member and manager of the Academy Karate Club, winning many awards in matches across the country. He also participated in long-distance bicycle races to raise money for charity.

While stationed in the United Kingdom, Captain Roper was deployed in Kosovo for six months as a peacekeeper. Prior to his assignment in the U.K., he served at Osan Air Base in South Korea.

He loved sharks and was an avid diver. He made dives in Australia, in the Great Barrier Reef and in South Africa, looking for and finding great white sharks. He was also an accomplished photographer and took many dramatic photos of sharks.

He is survived by his father and mother, John and Ina Roper; his sister and brother-in-law, Dirina and Michael Powers, and their children, Luke and Zack; his grandmother, Lisa Relewitz; and many relatives around the world.

Services will be held today (Thursday), at 11 a.m., at Jackson Lytle & Ingling Williams Funeral Home in Yellow Springs, with interment to follow in Dayton National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the U.S. Air Force Academy Association of Graduates, 3116 Academy Drive, USAF Academy, CO 80840-4475.