Tom Popp, Formerly Of Glennallen

  Thomas Popp Obituary Thomas L. Popp, 63, died March 5, 2023, in Bellingham, Washington, of COPD and lung cancer. He was born in Juneau, Al...


Thomas Popp Obituary

Thomas L. Popp, 63, died March 5, 2023, in Bellingham, Washington, of COPD and lung cancer. He was born in Juneau, Alaska, at St. Anne's to Charles and Irene (Roberts) Popp of Gustavus on Jan. 8, 1960. His early years were spent exploring FAA stations in Gustavus, Wake Island, Cold Bay and Glennallen.

Tom was a bright and curious child. His grandfather, Sandy, gave him the name De Tr'ee Zhuu (Raven), the trickster. He had an infectious laugh, once bringing the house down in the one-room school in Gustavus reacting to a particularly funny scene in a play. Later, leaving the school, one old gentleman wiping the tears out of his eyes declared pure delight! That was the spirit Tom brought to our lives.

During his high school years Tom participated in wrestling and played baseball in the summertime. He was a gifted athlete.

After graduation he attended diesel mechanic school in Denver. He returned to Alaska and moved to Fairbanks, joining the National Guard. His young adult years were spent living in the fast lane. A couple of broken relationships, a couple of kids and lost opportunities, and Tom found himself in serious trouble.

Tom disappeared for a while before turning himself in. After his release he began to rebuild his life, eventually marrying Donna and raising their two children, Greg and Amanda. In 1999 they moved to the Skagit Valley area where he worked for Les Schwab until health issues forced his retirement. He faced the diagnosis of COPD with grace and admitted he had lived a good life. He and Donna enjoyed nearly 36 years of loving companionship and the joy of grandchildren.

Tom was a hardworking man who deeply loved his family and friends. He loved nothing more than telling stories and making people laugh. Tom will be forever missed by his family and friends.

Tom is survived by wife Donna, son Greg, grandchildren Elias and Kashe, daughter Amanda, and grandchildren Zayden and Sonya; son Jared Popp, grandchildren Drew, Sydney and Elliott; mother Irene Roberts; Aunt Margaret Bessette; sister Jane (Jim) Bird); brother Frank (Kathe Rich); sister Debi Ely; brother Brian (Wendy) Popp, and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was proceeded in death by maternal grandparents Sandy and Lucy Roberts, Uncle Neil, and aunts Ruth, Bertha and Frances all from Circle. His father Chuck died 11 days after Tom of diastolic heart failure.

A celebration of life was held at 2 p.m. July 2, 2023, at the David Salmon Tribal Hall with a potluck to follow.


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