Andrew "Andy" Joseph Popp, Sr.

May 5, 1934 ~ November 8, 2018 (age 84)

Andrew “Andy” Joseph Popp was truly the happiest guy on earth. So it’s no surprise he worked at the happiest place on earth as the longtime electrical foreman of Disneyland Park’s Tomorrowland. On the job and off, Andy spent his life helping others and had a warm smile and greeting for all. Number one on his priority list: his close-knit family who were with him when he passed away peacefully at home in Orange, CA on November 8. 


At his side were the love of his life, Jeraldine, who he married on June 24, 1961 in Orange County, CA; and their three children: Cindy Popp (Brian) of Los Angeles; Vicki Oates (Michael) of Long Beach; and Andrew Popp, Jr. (Kate) of Los Angeles. 


Andy was so proud of his three granddaughters: Nicole Popp, Mallory DeWolf (Daniel), Claire Oates and his new great-granddaughter, Brooklyn Popp. He recently attended Mallory’s wedding and even in his wheelchair, he hit the dance floor for a joyful spin with the bride. He was soon dancing with everyone. It was so typical of Andy: he enthusiastically embraced any chance to celebrate with loved ones and meet new people who quickly became friends. 


Andy’s is an American success story. He was born in Romania on May 5, 1934 and came to the United States with his parents Andrew and Veronica Popp. They settled on a Pennsylvania farm along with his sister Veronica Trunek and brother George. 


He graduated from Cresson High School in 1952 but he never stopped learning. “Every day is a school day,” he told his kids, and encouraged them to study hard and be curious about the world. All are college graduates and world travelers. 


At age 18 he set off for Detroit, Michigan where he worked in the automotive industry with Ford. In 1954 he moved to California and started his apprenticeship to become an electrician with IBEW Local 441. He was drafted in 1956 and served in the Army as a paratrooper and proud member of the 101st Airborne Division until 1958. 


Over the years, Andy helped build and light up Orange County in both residential and commercial construction projects. He began work at Disneyland in 1984 and retired in 1999. Some of his favorite rides were Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours (based on the “Star Wars” film franchise), PeopleMover and It’s A Small World (the only ride he ever got lost in!)


Andy was a member of the Knights of Columbus and served his community in many other big and little ways. He always offered a helping hand (and had the calluses to prove it!) or a word of sincere advice to friends, neighbors and of course family. A man of strong faith and a tender heart, he attended St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church and Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Although Andy traveled far from his Pennsylvania farm roots, he still had the greenest thumb and loved working in the yard on his 20 trees: avocado, peach, plum persimmon, kumquat, lemon and lime. He also tended to hundreds of flowers, his favorite species being the Amaryllis, many of which are now in bloom around his beloved home. 


Andy cultivated so many beautiful things in his life. As he liked to say, “Be proud of what you do, and do it well.” He lived his life well, and his family and friends are all so proud of him. 


Visitation: Wednesday, November 14, 5 to 7 p.m., Brown Colonial Mortuary, 204 W. 17thSt., Santa Ana, CA 92706, followed by a Vigil Service. Funeral mass: Thursday, November 15, 10 a.m., St. Cecilia Church, 1301 Sycamore Ave., Tustin, CA 92780. Graveside service: Thursday, November 15, 11:30 a.m., Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, 7845 E. Santiago Canyon Rd., Orange, CA 92683. 

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