DONALD GENE POPP SR. was called to his heavenly home on December 9, 2020, at 9:58 P.M. after an eight year long battle with prostate cancer. He passed away in his home with his wife by his side. Don was born to Mary Nastio and Steve Popp Sr. in Logan, West Virginia, on April 29, 1942. Don grew up in a coal camp with his siblings, Kathryn Popp, Steve Popp Jr., Dolly Mauppin (Jerry) of Carencro, La., Barbara Woolcock (Ted) of Pensacola, Fla., and Jim Popp (Connie) of Montgomery, La. He was very proud of being raised in a coal camp and always longed for his childhood home. Don attended Logan Elementary and graduated from Logan High School in 1960. Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. His naval career lasted from 1960-1964. While on duty he was assigned to the USS Sandoval, where he served as the ship's postal clerk. While in the Navy his first child, Donna Hodges (Jack) of Fate, TX, was born. Two years after his Naval discharge his long-awaited son was born, Retired Master Sergeant Donald Popp Jr. (Mina) of Kuwait. Don was called to preach and spread the gospel and furthered his education at Tennessee Temple University, where he earned his bachelor degrees in Theology and Psychology. While in University his third child, Bonnie Sullivan of Pensacola, Fla., was born. His ministry took him to many places including Tennessee, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Fourth child, Rebecca Price (Ricky) of Rockford, Ala., was born during his time in Florida. Deborah Popp, daughter and fifth child of Childersburg, Ala., was born while he was ministering in Louisiana. It was also in Louisiana where he met the love of his life, Priscilla Olivier. Priscilla had two children whom Don dearly loved as his own, Jodie Wilkerson of Eunice, La., whom he legally adopted and Loren Thibodeaux of Benton, La. During Don and Priscilla's marriage, his career led them to numerous locations and with his wife as his helpmate, they began a ministry in each location they were assigned. Don always had a servant’s heart, and a majority of his ministries were aimed at the homeless and underprivileged. Don retired as the Regional Vice President of Collections for Citigroup Financial. He and his bride returned to Estherwood, La., where he continued his ministry at Bible Believer's Baptist Church. Shortly after his diagnosis he retired from the pulpit and continued his ministry online where people around the world listened to his sermons. Don also had a burning desire to make the town he lived in a better place, so he ran for alderman and served two terms. In an effort to improve things he decided he need to take on a leadership role in his village and decided he was going to run for mayor. In 2018 he ran for mayor unopposed. He was able to accomplish many things as mayor, and his position allowed him to guide and help many people. One of the greatest joys in Don's life was his 21 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew wherever he walked they could walk and be right with the Lord's teaching. Don was the embodiment of everything good in this world. Donald Gene Popp loved his family and friends beyond measure and will be greatly missed by each of them. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Steve and Mary Popp Sr.; his sister, Kathryn Popp; his brother, Steve Popp Jr.; and his son-in-law, Edward Wilkerson. The family would like to thank Dr. Juliet Robinson and her staff; Dr. Seger and staff for the care they provided during the last eight years and Hope Healthcare for walking with us through this journey. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home Chapel in Crowley, La. The family is requesting visiting hours to be held Monday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to the time of service at 1 p.m. Interment will be in Woodlawn Mausoleum in Crowley, La. Arrangements have been entrusted to Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home of Crowley, La.
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