Frank Popp, 89, passed away December 12, 2019

Frank Popp, 89, longtime resident of Decatur, MI passed away on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Vicinia Gardens in Otsego, MI.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 AM Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at Newell Chapel, 83313 M51, Decatur with Pastor James Abshagen officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery in Decatur. Friends and former students are encouraged to come and share memories with the family from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., Monday, December 16, 2019 at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Webster Memorial Library or the Decatur High School Science Department. Those wishing to leave a message of condolence for the family may do so online at

Frank was born on January 28, 1930 in Indiana Harbor, IN to Josephine (Fara) and William Popp. At the age of 6 Frank lost his father, and as his siblings were much older, his mother moved him out to the farm in East Decatur owned by his aunt and uncle, Marie and Alexander Popp. “Uncle” and “Teta” raised him to be a hard-working, respectful, and resourceful young man. It was the farm that gave him the love of agriculture, and after graduating from Decatur High School, eventually continued his education at Western Michigan College, transferred to Michigan State College to earn a degree in Vocational Agriculture, and later a Master’s Degree in animal husbandry from the now Michigan State University.

Frank met the love of his life, Mavis Dodge, on a blind date while still in high school. She agreed to marry him only after she finished her own college degree. They were wed on August 16, 1952 and moved back to Decatur in 1953 where Frank started his lengthy teaching career at Decatur High School. Frank taught mostly agriculture, general science, and conservation during his 33 year career. Known as a strict but fair disciplinarian, he influenced the lives of thousands of Decatur’s students. Frank wasn’t just a teacher. He also served as the leader of the local FFA chapter, managed the school owned forest property, taught driver’s ed, served as a substitute bus driver, and consulted on the farms of his students with his summer farm visit program. In his later years Frank loved to hear, “Hi Mr. Popp!” from a former student on the streets of Decatur.

Frank was an avid reader, and served on the Webster Memorial Library board for 20 years. He loved growing things to eat, and his garden contained, beans, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, raspberries, rhubarb, plum trees, peach trees, and his favorite white flesh peach tree. He enjoyed golfing, bowling, playing pinochle, and especially loved learning to fly a two seater Cessna airplane. He could fix most anything, loved his family with all of his heart and was always willing to help a person who had a need.

Frank is survived by his son Larry (Nancy) Popp of South Lyon, MI, and his daughter Cheryl (Brian) Germain of Otsego, MI, grandchildren Alex (Courtney) Popp of Charlotte, NC, Leanna Popp (Nate Smith), of Atlanta, GA, Derrick Popp of Dearborn, MI, Maria Germain and Megan Germain, of Otsego, MI along with many nieces and nephews Frank was preceded in death by his wife Mavis in 2018 and siblings, Bill Popp, Jerry Popp, and Helene Fanus. 

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