Farm Animals 19
Official Obituary of

Eugene "Gene" L. Popham

September 11, 1933 ~ March 1, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Eugene "Gene" Popham Obituary

Eugene "Gene" L. Popham, age 90, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Friday, March 1, 2024, at the local hospital.  Funeral Mass will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 8, 2024, at Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown, SD.  Father Richard Baumberger will be the officiant.  Music will be provided by Jaret Stormo.  This service will be live streamed via our website.

Visitation will be at 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown, SD.  

Burial will be St. Mary's Cemetery in Watertown, SD. Honorary pallbearers are Wayne Bessman, Ron Albertson, Bruce Hestad, Darrell Popham, Loren Berg, Mort Schooley and all Sale Barn Livestock friends. Active pallbearers Chance Popham, Clay Popham, Jeff Popham, Bob Popham, Bob Sour, Nick Stormo and  Tim Bach.

Gene was born on September 11, 1933 in Watertown, SD, to Harry and Teresa (Maag) Popham. He attended Prairie Queen country school in Codington county for two years. After the family moved to Hamlin county in 1941, Gene attended the Oxford 6 school which was on the quarter of land that the family owned and lived on. Gene received an 8th grade diploma in 1946.

After Gene’s father had health problems, Gene decided to skip high school to stay home and help his father farm. In the winter months, at the age of 13, he worked at the South Dakota Livestock Sale Barn in Watertown, SD, which was owned by his uncles, Tom and Walter (Bud) Popham. In 1969, Gene and his brother, Jerald, formed a partnership and took over the family farm of raising crops, cow/calf operation and a feedlot, which they continued to run until it was dissolved in 2014 and turned over to their sons, Mike, Bob (Jerald’s), and Scott (Gene’s).

In addition to farming, Gene became an order buyer of livestock for people and would go to sale barns many days a week. It was a job he really loved and enjoyed but tried his best to get home in time to attend his children and grandchildren’s school activities. In 1981, when the SDLS barn was closed for a short time, Gene and Jerald became partners, with others, to reopen the business. Gene’s pride in the sale barn was to go look at cattle, visit in the office with farmers and run the auction block. It was successfully run until it burned down in August, 2015.

On June 9, 1962, Gene married Marlys Sour in Henry SD, they spent over 61 years together. They continued living on the family farm until 1994 when they built a new home at Lake Kampeska. He was a member of the IC Church and the Elks in Watertown. Gene loved to play cards, enjoyed hunting and fishing (if they were biting, no time to just sit on the lake and just enjoy it), and could also be found every Fall running the combine until 2022. Nothing gave him more joy than spending time with his two grandsons.

In September 2023, Gene’s family planned a 90th birthday party for him at his home. That was one of the highlights of his life and he appreciated his family and friends coming. He knew how fortunate he was to still be enjoying life at that age.

Gene is survived by his wife, Marlys, of Watertown; his children Scott (Lynn) Popham of Hayti, SD, and Chad Popham; two grandsons, Chance and Clay Popham; one sister-in-law, Nelda Popham, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, Lynell, Jerald, and Phillip Popham and one sister-in-law, AnnaMae Popham.

Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 7, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Crawford - Osthus Funeral Chapel (Watertown)

Funeral Mass
Friday
March 8, 2024

11:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Church (Watertown)

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In Loving Memory Of

Eugene "Gene" Popham

September 11, 1933-March 1, 2024




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In Loving Memory Of

Eugene "Gene" Popham

September 11, 1933-March 1, 2024




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Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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