James Edward Popplewell

August 20, 1938 - February 5, 2013


James “Jim” Edward Popplewell “Poppy,” 74, of College

Place, Washington, passed away on Tuesday, February 5,

  1. He was born in Gordon, Nebraska, on August 20,

1938 to Jack and Grace (Barnes) Popplewell. When Jim

was seven years old, he and his family moved from the dry

central plains to the lush Idaho panhandle near Sandpoint.

He and his two younger brothers were raised on the

family ranch and Jim quickly learned the meaning of the

word “work.” It was also in this setting, however, that he

developed a love of the outdoors, enjoyed the fragrance of

the woods, gained a deep appreciation for wildlife, and was

brought close to the gracious love of God.

After graduating from Sandpoint High School in 1956,

Jim attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Walla

Walla University in College Place. He enjoyed his college

studies and, typical of his industriousness, helped earn his

tuition by working on campus where he made many special

friendships that have endured through the years.

Jim and Ruth(ie) Hope Lawrence met in 1964. On

May 30, 1965 they were married by Dr. Percy Christian,

President of Walla Walla University, in the Heubach

Chapel of the campus church. The newly-weds made their

home in College Place, and Jim continued to reside there

until the time of his passing.

Jim, a charter member of the College Place Police

Department Reserves, took his oath of office in 1962. He

also served as a Reserve Officer and a full-time Dispatcher

from 1964 to 1966. Later he established a painting and

repair business, and he was well-known throughout the

community as a meticulous worker with an upbeat attitude.

Because of his experience, Walla Walla University hired him

as Manager of the Paint Department at Plant Services. While

there he hired many students, teaching them how to paint by

sharing with them his painting tips for a professional job,

thus providing them with skills they could use in later life.

One summer he and his crew painted the entire interior of

the men’s dormitory. He delighted in working with young

people, and many of them remember him fondly to this day.

He was an avid fisherman and an all-around outdoors

man. He enjoyed fishing for trout in local lakes and streams

and ocean fishing for Chinook salmon. Tying fishing flies,

metal detecting, gardening, hunting, and vehicle repairing

were a few of his hobbies. A multi-talented man, he

extended his interests to inventing an innovative fish bait

which, unlike the competition, would not rot or mold. He

and his uncle marketed his trout-targeted bait under the

name of “Super Strikes,” and indeed they were. He held

memberships in the North American Fishing Club, the NRA

of America, and the North American Hunting Club.

Jim was a man acquainted with pain and suffering.

Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he shared his love of

life with all he met. With his outgoing personality, great

ability to tell a funny story, and infectious laugh, he never

knew a stranger. He was especially attentive to the needs of

the handicapped and was always willing to help and say a

kind word. During the time he was bed-bound, he enjoyed

the Kindle that was given to him as a gift by his nephew.

He ordered many books for reading on the Kindle, among

which was a digital copy of the Holy Bible that he read from

Genesis to Revelation in the span of one month.

He was preceded in death by his parents (his mother

recently passed away at the age of 102); his brothers,

Joseph and Donald Popplewell; his cousin, Alys Popplewell

Anderson and his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Red, who was his

constant companion. He is survived by his wife of almost 48

years; his nephews, Gary (Erin Sue) Lawrence (Maryland);

Alan Lawrence (Walla Walla); Glen (Deborah) Lawrence

and their two children Mary and Eric Lawrence (Maryland);

great-niece Cori Lawrence (Matthew) DeMoss and their two

children Julie Hope and Tommy (Maryland); sister-in-law

Vicki K. Lawrence (Nebraska); special family friend Antonia

O’Sullivan (Spokane); nieces Geraldine Kern and Jacque

Quantrille (Alaska); cousins Larry Popplewell (Arizona),

Del Barnes and Larry (Karen) Barnes (Washington), Marty

(Cathy) Popplewell and their son Daniel (California); uncle

Harold (Shirley) Popplewell (Walla Walla) and their two

daughters Susan (Melvin) Farnsworth and Pam Popplewell

(Washington); and dear friends.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Mountain View-

Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla,

Washington. A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held on

Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel of the

College Place Village SDA Church, 12th and Larch Streets,

College Place. Chaplain Walt Meske will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mikey’s Chance

Canine Rescue through the funeral home.

Relatives and friends may write memories and sign the

online guest book at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com

308309 CL

JAMES EDWARD POPPLEWELL August 20, 1938 – February 5, 2013


A Man of Honor in the Eyes of God and Man

A Man of Courage in the Face of Physical Disabilities and Sickness

A Man of Strength of Spirit in Spite of Setbacks, and

A Man of Steadfast Faith in and Love of God, Family, and Friends


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