Paul J. Popplewell
Popplewell, 85 yrs., passed away on September 8, 2018, after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family. Paul was born on January 13, 1933 in Osceola, MO to P.G. Popplewell and Sylvia Howard Popplewell. He grew up in Butler, MO and graduated from High School at the age of 16.
Paul joined the Army at the age of 17, with permission of his parents. He was assigned to the US Paratroops. Paul was in the 3rd Airborne Division in Korea, Automatic Rifleman and Squad leader. He saw action on the mountains and hills such as White Horse, Triangle, and several points on the central front lines. He was awarded the Infantry badge, the symbol of a combat soldier.
Paul also served in the 10th Mountain Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 187th Airborne regimental combat team. 3rd Airborne ranger infantry company (Korea) and 3rd infantry division, 15th Regiment C Company no.1 Platoon 1st squad. Paul was at a large battle at the Chosin Dam. Paul and four others were the only survivors that were not wounded in his division. He was wounded several times but was treated by medics during battles and was not sent off site. His military decorations included the Silver Star, for Conspicuous Gallantry, Bronze star with the V (Valorous) Device, Distinguished Service Cross, Combat infantry Badge, Combat Jump Badge, and Pathfinder Badge. His service medals were Korean Service with 3 Bronze Major Campaign stars, United Nations service with Korean national defense Device, 2 US Presidential Citations and Korean Presidential Citation. Paul was honorably discharged in 1954.
Upon Paul’s return home, he applied and was accepted for the Kansas City, MO Police Department. During the next several years, he policed for Overland Park, KS and Johnson County Sherriff’s Office where he became detective and was a member of the first Metro Squad started by Chief Kelly.
Paul and his wife Gail have been married for nearly 60 years. They were married January 17, 1959 in Osawatomie KS. They bought a home in Overland Park, KS where their 2 daughters, Kyna Lynn and Dana Lorraine were born.
In 1965 they decided to move back to Butler, MO. They farmed there until 1969 when they moved to Osawatomie where Paul worked for the Missouri Pacific Rail Road. They lived many happy years there. Paul was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
He was preceded in death by grandparents, parents, one brother Gilbert Popplewell and daughter Kyna Popplewell. He is survived by his wife Gail of the home, daughter Dana Popplewell Blume (Nathan), 3 granddaughters, Ashley Blume Olson (Brandon), Amber Blume Gray (Brandon), and Allyce Blume; 12 great grandchildren.
Our lives will be empty without him.
Burial of ashes at Arlington Cemetery
Memorials are to Central Heights Honor Flight and may be sent in C/O the Eddy- Birchard Funeral Home P.O Box 430 Osawatomie KS 66064