Mr. Jacob Rudolph (Jake) Popham, Jr. was born to Jacob Rudolph Popham, Sr. and Mary Louise Kirton Popham on June 1, 1944 near Manor Georgia. On April 25, 2021, he passed away at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross, Georgia. We are grateful for the 76 years in which he was blessed.
While attending Manor School and High School, Jake achieved high honors, played basketball, and played baseball. Jake earned a scholarship to play Basketball at ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College) in Tifton, Georgia for 2 years. After these 2 years, he was recruited by Troy State University to continue his Basketball journey. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from TSU. Following college, he began a teaching and coaching career in the Elba Alabama School System. After some time, Jake moved back home and worked for the Ware County School System as a high school teacher and coach. In 2017, Jake was inducted in the ABAC Hall of Fame for the Basketball Team’s success in the 1964 Georgia Junior College State Championship.
After a career in coaching and teaching, Jake went to work in the insurance industry as an insurance adjuster with Bituminous Insurance Company (BIC) located in Atlanta, Georgia. While located in Atlanta, he attended John Marshall Law School where he studied to be an attorney. He was relocated by BIC to Tifton, Georgia, and he remained there to work for many years.
In the mid-1970’s, Jake returned to Blackshear, and he changed careers to work as a pipe-fitter in the industrial construction field. He gained these skills through an apprenticeship that he completed during college. In 1977, he became a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 368. He utilized his skills to work on many Industrial Projects in the Southeastern United States.
Jake was continually active in the Pierce County Community. He has been involved in many of the high school projects, and he was a super fan of the local sports. A member of First Baptist Church in Blackshear, Jake donated his skills and materials to complete numerous construction projects for the church. He attended the MISFITS Sunday School Class.
Jake was a Master Mason and a member of Worth Lodge 194 in Sylvester, Georgia. In 1981, he was raised to the Master Mason Degree. Jake was a member of this lodge for nearly 40 years.
Jake joined his brothers in the early 1980’s working with Popham Mechanical Contractors providing leadership and expertise in the Industrial Construction. During this time, he aided in the completion of many projects in the Southeastern United States.
Jake was devoted to his family: wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He never failed to support, love, and care for his family. Not only was he a positive impact on the lives of many family members and friends, he also provided mentoring and support of fellow workers. His leadership and support were often extended through his sincere kindness. Jake was a man who genuinely loved his country, family, friends, and work.
He is preceded in death by his son Joey Popham, granddaughter, Kaley Hutto, his parents, Jacob Rudolph Popham Sr. and Mary Louise Kirton Popham; sisters: Annette Popham Bowen and Darlene Popham; and brothers: William Langford Hedgepath Jr., Winford Ansel Popham, Dorsey Elton Popham, and Phillip Edward Popham.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years Vera Sue Wall Popham; children: Connie (Kevin) Moore of Blackshear GA, Mark (Renee) Popham of Blackshear GA, Diane (Thomas) Davis of Mershon GA, and Gina (Mike) Hutto of Aiken SC; brothers: Dan Russell (Elaine) Popham, Sr. of Blackshear GA and John Allen (Kaye) Popham, Sr. Sylvester GA; 12 grandchildren: Austin Moore, Ashton (Jason) Cumbee, Autumn (Scott) Murphy, Aaron (Destiny) Moore, TJ Davis, Drew (Hannah) Davis, Breanna Popham, Brandon Popham, Lexie Popham, Brooke Hutto, Maci Hutto, and Jodi Hutto; 7 great-grandchildren: Coburn Murphy, Cora Beth Murphy, Laney Rhea Moore, Olivia Davis, Harper Kate Davis, Madeline Davis, and Lincoln Davis; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A funeral service will take place Wednesday (4/28/21) at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Blackshear. Burial will follow in Waters Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the church on Wednesday one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 670 Main Street, Blackshear, Georgia 31516 or to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Georgia 31501.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.hartfh.com.
Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
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