Gary J. Popken, 65, of Brandon, S.D., died Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004, at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Gary Jay Popken was born Nov. 11, 1938, in Sibley, the son of William and Esther (Osterbuhr) Popken. Gary was confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Grant Township, rural Le Mars, near where he was raised on the family farm. He attended country school and later graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1957. Following high school, Gary enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard and served from 1957 to 1959. Gary was united in marriage to Shirley Frerichs on June 21, 1959, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Preston Township, rural Akron.
Gary had worked for Northwestern Bell and AT&T for 27 years before retiring for health reasons in 1989. While working for the telephone company, Gary had lived in Ireton, Akron and the Sioux City area prior to moving to an acreage near Brandon, S.D., in 1985.
Gary enjoyed fishing and farming. He loved the opportunity to spend time with his seven grandchildren. He was a member of the Brandon Lutheran Church and had belonged to the Eagles Club in Le Mars for many years.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Shirley of Brandon; four daughters, Sherri and Dan Rowe of Sioux City, Shelly Clause of Brandon, S.D., Connie and Bruce Wenzel of Hinton, and Lisa Fuller and a special friend, Randy Hanson of Renner, S.D.; a son, Chad Popken of Brandon, S.D.; seven grandchildren, Melanie (Rowe) Albenesius, Melissa Rowe, Heath Clause, Heather Clause, Ryan Wenzel, Riley Wenzel, and Cierra Hanson; three brothers, Romain and Ardis Popken of Hinton, Rodney Popken of Oak Harbor, Wash., and Bill and Diane Popken of Vinton; three sisters, Jenean and Robert Lesher of Mesa, Ariz., Barbara and Paul Kunkel of Moville, and LeeAnn and Larry DeHaan of Orange City; several nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Esther (Osterbuhr) Popken; and a brother, Varrel Popken.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Carlsen Funeral home in Le Mars, with the Rev. Dennis Bossman of the Brandon Lutheran Church officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Sioux City. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends after 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Jerry Ludwigs, Mike Popken, Heath Clause, Dan Rowe, Bruce Wenzel, and Alan Kunkel.