John Joseph Popson, aged 81, of Knoxville was reunited with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, August 16, at Pella Regional Health Center. While he will be sorely missed, his family takes joy knowing he spent his time on earth shining like a star and brightening all corners where he was.
John was born on June 5, 1942, to John and Irene (Biros) Popson in Hiteman, Iowa. As the eldest of eight, John took pride in his role within the family, demonstrating what it meant to be a Popson by helping those in need whenever he could. Often, he could be found helping on the family farm or assisting Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Weller as an altar boy.
After graduating from Albia Community High School in 1960, John entered the National Guard completing basic training and advanced training as a tank crewman. On November 18, 1967, he was united in marriage to Martha Plum at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. To this union, four children were born: Audrey, Andy, Mary, and Tina.
A farmer at heart, John enjoyed being able to spend time outdoors hunting for mushrooms, planting flowers and other plants, and working on vehicles. Known as a jack of all trades, John found joy working for Massey Ferguson, Knoxville Community Schools, as well as owning his own business, Popson’s Repair Service, working on appliances. In his free time, he also greatly enjoyed working with John Jordan on carpenter projects for people, being active with the Knights of Columbus, taking part in Iowa Democrats (encouraging others to register and vote), and talking. Above all though, John’s true passion was his family. John loved to spend time with his family whenever possible, often sharing stories about his youth in Weller and the wisdom he’d gained over the years. His family will miss these profanity laden stories and “Johnny-isms” greatly. The children and grandchildren have been referred to as “Johnny Jr.” numerous occasions. Compliment taken!
Those left to cherish John’s memory are his wife of 55 years, Martha Plum Popson; daughters, Audrey (Dr. Michael) Popson-Debije, Suzanne Willis-Popson, Mary (Michael) Klein, and Tina (Corey McIntosh) Popson; grandchildren, Breanna (Zachary) DeMoully, Gavin Klein, Sam Popson, and Oskar Debije; siblings, Kathryn “Kay” Cernic, Bob Popson, Jeanne Popson (Steven Miller), and Joyce (Terry) Shaw; multiple nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Irene; son, John Andrew "Andy" Popson; siblings, Helen McDowell, William “Bill” Popson, and Shirley Kamerick; and brother-in- law Matt Cernic. As a devoted Catholic, John looked forward to seeing his loved ones in heaven, especially his son. His remaining family takes joy in knowing John has been reunited with his loved ones and hopes they’ve enjoyed the silence they’ve had until now.
Johnny was a great man and will be sorely missed by all who knew him, including Sportsman’s Guide who knew him as their #1 customer.
The next time you eat a Swiss Roll, fried chicken, or red Jello with bananas, we hope that you think of Johnny.
As he often liked to say in the place of goodbye, “take care and be careful”.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM, Monday, August 28, 2023, at St. Anthony’s in Knoxville with Father Hoffman and Father Bertogli officiating. Following the service, a luncheon will be provided by the Altar and Rosary Society. A visitation will take place on Sunday, August 27, 2023, from 5:00-7:00pm at the church, with the Rosary to begin at 7:00pm. Interment with military honors will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Weller at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks that memorials be made to the family.