Stillwater News Press

October 26, 2013

Thomas Wayne Popham


Stillwater NewsPress

— Thomas Wayne Popham passed away Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.

He was born in Williamson County, Herrin, Ill., to Muriel and Paul Popham on Jan. 27, 1939.  After graduating from Herrin High School, he attended the U. S. Naval Academy for two years, left with an honorable discharge and matriculated to Baylor University, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

He then moved to New Orleans where he earned a master’s degree in bio-statistics from Tulane University. Thomas and Sue Hines married on Nov. 29, 1963. Sue and Tom had four children, Phillip, Myrlalise (Alise), Peter and James.  

While working for the U.S. Forest Service, Tom completed graduate studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. His work with the Forest Service included groundbreaking research in bio-statistics.

In 1982, Tom and his family moved to Stillwater, where he worked for the Agricultural Research Service as a bio-statistician in the Southern Plains Area.

Tom worked with scientists around the world on countless experiments to learn, understand and improve the plan and design of biological research.

He retired in December 2004 after more than 43 years of government service.

Tom was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge in Herrin, Ill.

He was active in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America and Stillwater Friends of Music.  

Tom was an avid reader, airplane pilot and artist, especially in leathercraft. He liked to travel, loved his family and valued his friendships.   

He is survived by his wife, Sue, and his son, Phillip Lewis Popham and his wife, Holly (Reisbeck), and their two children, Austin and Ashley; daughter, Myrlalise (Alise) Bernee Isbell and her husband, Matthew; son, Thomas Peter Hines Popham; son, James Feller Popham, and his wife, Amy (Merrill), and their daughter, Marossie. Tom is also survived by his mother-in-law Bernice Hines.  

Tom is preceded in death by his father, Paul Thomas Popham and his mother Muriel Vitula (Tyner) and his brother, Phillip Neal Popham.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to MD Anderson Cancer Center (Myeloma Clinic), Baylor University (Biology Department) or Oklahoma State University, Friends of Music.