Cover photo for Doug J. Sopher's Obituary
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1961 Doug 2023

Doug J. Sopher

August 18, 1961 — May 28, 2023

New Philadelphia

Douglas Sopher, 61, of New Philadelphia, passed away on May 28, 2023 in his home surrounded by his loving family following a courageous battle with lymphoma that was diagnosed in November of 2022.

Born August 18, 1961 in Grove City, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Mary O. (Montgomery) Sopher and the late Kenneth M. Sopher. 

After graduating from Dover High School in 1979, he attended Miami University, ultimately graduating from the University of Akron with a degree in accounting. Following graduation, Doug joined Rea & Associates where he worked as a Certified Public Accountant until he joined Sopher Insurance Agency.  He became a Charter Life Underwriter for Nationwide Insurance and served the community for 35 years.

At the age of 15, Doug met his future wife, Melanie. Their love story spanned more than 45 years, having been blessed with a life of tremendous devotion, unconditional love, and treasured family memories. 

Doug’s faith was nurtured at the First United Methodist Church in New Philadelphia where he served for numerous years as an usher, greeter, lay leader, and a member of several committees. Additionally, he was an active member of the New Philadelphia Lions Club where he served as President, chairman of Rose Queen committee for 20 years, and is a distinguished Melvin Jones Fellow.

Together with his father, Doug participated with the Tuscarawas Teen Rodeo for 25 years. He was also honored to serve as the treasurer for Kerry Metzger’s Tuscarawas County Commissioner and State Representative campaigns.

Of all of Doug’s successes, his greatest joy was that of his family. He adored his wife, the former Melanie Zimmerly, whom he wed in New Philadelphia on August 6, 1983. They were blessed with the birth of their three children and four granddaughters. Doug was proud of each of them and was honored to participate in family game nights, family meals, vacations to the beach, golfing, and listening to his grandbabies’ chatter.  He took tremendous pride in making life easier for his family.  He was present, steadfast, loving, and genuine, always giving his best.

He will be deeply missed by the love of his life, his wife, Melanie of New Philadelphia; children, Vicki (Travis) Simmering of Cypress, TX, Andrew (Michaela) Sopher of Washington, D.C., and Stephanie (Collin) Getz of North Canton; 4 beautiful granddaughters, Quinn, Corrie, and Claire Simmering and Natalie Getz; his mother, Mary Sopher of Dover; four siblings, Edward M. (Yongmi) Sopher, Bill Sopher, Pamela (Stan) Racketa, Nancy (Dennis) McCartney; father-in-law, Gene (RuthJoyce) Zimmerly; sisters-in-law, Shelly (Vince) Miller and Lynne (Jon) Wilson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Doug was preceded in passing by his father, Ken Sopher; mother-in-law, Joanne Zimmerly; and his nephew, Greg Sopher.

Visitation will be held in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover, 5600 N. Wooster Ave., on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral service celebrating Doug’s life will be held Friday, June 2, 2023 at 11 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church at New Philadelphia. Interment will follow in Dover Burial Park. Friends and family are invited back to the church fellowship hall following the burial where a meal will be hosted by his church family.

Memorial contributions may be directed to The Quaker Foundation, PO Box 627 New Philadelphia, OH 44663, where an educational scholarship will be established in Doug’s name. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doug J. Sopher, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, June 1, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Geib Funeral Center at Dover

5600 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, OH 44622

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Funeral Service

Friday, June 2, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

201 W High Ave, New Philadelphia, OH 44663

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Burial

Friday, June 2, 2023

12:00 - 12:45 pm (Eastern time)

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Reception

Friday, June 2, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

201 W High Ave, New Philadelphia, OH 44663

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