John Wayne Poppell

1931-2022
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John Wayne Poppell, born Dec. 28, 1931, went to be with the Lord on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at the age of 90. Wayne was born in Floresville, Texas, to Albert Russell and Gussie Cox Poppell.

Wayne married the love of his life, Dorris, in 1966, and moved to San Antonio where they raised four children. He went to work for Southern Pacific Railroad at the age of 18, and was drafted into the U.S. Army at the age of 22, where he spent some time in Korea. Wayne was honorably discharged from the Army at the age of 24, and returned to the railroad as a welder. He retired from the railroad at the age of 62.

Wayne’s favorite pastime was farming watermelons and gardening. He was referred to by many as “Watermelon Wayne.” He enjoyed barbecuing and was known for his famous brisket and jalapeño cheese pie.

We will miss his smile, sweetness, and sense of humor, but are thankful he is with the Lord, said his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Dorris Sjorlund Poppell; his brother; and two sisters.

Wayne is survived by his children, Laura Zaiontz and husband Karl, Gail Jackson and husband Ernest, Dwayne Colley, and Ruth Becker and husband Wes; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Wayne’s wonderful caregivers, Penny, Brittany, and Maggie, who were all a blessing to him and them.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 5-8 p.m. in Mission Park Funeral Chapels South in San Antonio.

A funeral service will be celebrated on Friday at 11 a.m. in the funeral chapel.

Interment will follow in the Mission Burial Park South in San Antonio.

Serving as pallbearers will be Orrin Jackson, Billy Bass, Travis Stewart, Dylan Cranford, Weldon Jackson, and Brian McAlexander.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Roger Garcia and Clint Nelle.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.