Rodney Popken, 62, of Oak Harbor, Wash., and a Brunsville area native, died Friday, Oct. 20, 2006, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Oak Harbor.
Rodney was born May 17, 1944, the son of William and Esther (Osterbuhr) Popken. He grew up on a farm near Brunsville and attended church at Christ Lutheran Church, where he was baptized and confirmed. He attended high school in Le Mars.
He served in the U.S. Navy fro 1961 to 1974. He later was post commander and managed the VFW Club in the Oak Harbor area. He worked at the naval base as a boiler engineer and did more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work for Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He did some long-haul trucking and then worked for Triangle Company where he provided transportation for physically challenged and the elderly.
He recently retired and delivered newspapers a couple hours a day for the Skagit Valley Herald.
He enjoyed camping, hunting, gardening, cooking and woodworking. He loved western books and movies.
He is survived by two brothers, Romain Popken and his wife, Ardis of Hinton, and Billy Popken and his wife, Diane, of Vinton; and three sisters, Jenean Lesher and her husband, Robert of Mesa, Ariz., Barbara Kunkel of Moville and LeeAnn DeHaan and her husband, Larry of Orange City; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Varrel and Gary; and two brothers-in-law, Duane Ludwigs and Paul Kunkel.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Washington.