Billy Poppell, 86, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Cotton Grove Estates under the care of Hospice of South Georgia, Inc.
A native and lifelong resident of Jesup, Billy was born on March 8, 1935 the late Jimmie and Josephine Graeber Poppell. He was a graduate of Wayne County High School and began his success story at an early age with a work ethic that was second to none. He started his career in 1957 when he was working for Wares Auto and made the decision that Jesup needed a bicycle repair shop. After borrowing $80.00 from his father, he bought a shop and began what would become a lifelong career of entrepreneurship in Wayne County. The business grew and prospered and before long, Billy expanded his business several times, adding used car sales and an auto repair shop and eventually becoming a Datsun dealer in 1970. His firm, Billy Poppell Car Sales, was so successful that it sold forty-five new Datsuns in the first five weeks they were on display and the company grew from a single employee to nineteen over the years, certainly a testimony to its success. Billy sold many other types of cars over the years, including Buick, International and AMC but his love for a good economical car that was made to last always brought Datsun to the forefront of his car lot. Through the 1980’s, he began a second business venture when he pursued his love of plants, flowers and the outdoors as he and his late wife began growing flowers and designing landscapes. Countless hours were spent in the greenhouse watering flowers and growing plants, a true labor of love. Billy managed several rentals around town in addition to his other duties and was instrumental in the development of Country Garden Estates. He loved Wayne County and he loved the Lord. Billy was a longtime member of the Jesup Church of God where he had served on the Pastors Council, the Building Committee and was the Sunday School Superintendent for many years. He also enjoyed collecting cars and was a member of the Altamaha Classic Cruisers.
In addition to his parents, his sister, Lawanna Leggett, her husband, Joe Leggett, his brother-in-law, Leon Cothern and first wife, Betty Driggers Poppell all preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife, Jaquita Poppell; daughter, Rhonda Poppell; son, Ronald Poppell and wife, Christie and sister, Nita Cothern all of Jesup; grandchildren, Shauna Mattingly and husband, Cameron of Jesup and Brandon Bullock of St. Simon’s Island; two great grandchildren, Emree and L.C.; three stepchildren, Vanessa Tyre, April Morgan and Wesley Smith and their seven children and two grandchildren. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins and a large extended family also survive.
Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 on Monday, April 19, 2021 at the Jesup Church of God.
Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at the Jesup Church of God with Rev. Scott Hatten officiating. Eulogies will be given by Genell Poppell and Cameron Mattingly.
Interment will follow in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Bobby Cutter, Jonathan Poppell, Jacob Poppell, Greg Leggett, Bob Bryant and Givens Bryant.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Senior Sunday School Class of Jesup Church of God, Staff of Cotton Grove Estate, Staff of Hospice of South Georgia, members of the Altamaha Classic Cruisers, Ian Greene, Randy Teston, Genell and Jerry Poppell, Ray Hamilton, Ben Poppell, Scottie Poppell, Zach Poppell, Dustin Rozier, Daryl Cothern, Craig Cothern, Jerry Leggett, Venita Daniels, Terri Ogden, Nathan Mobley, Don Rogers, Grant Lewis, Don Leggett, Carlton Ring, Benny Clark, , James Vann and Curt Spell.
One of the most wonderful characteristics of Billy was his love of people and his strong desire to help those in need. Over the years, countless people have been blessed by his acts of kindness. Please take a few moments to express a memory or share a special moment at www.jesupfuneralhome.com.
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