David Matthew Popper
  • 27 years old
  • Date of birth: Jul 17, 1986
  • Date of passing: Jan 29, 2014
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

Your stories about my brother have brought so much joy to my famliy and me...we love hearing from you!

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by charles saba on 29th January 2016

"To David's Family and Friends,
I catch myself thinking of David, often times. Fun was the name of the time David and I worked together, right prior to going into the military. He was so proud of being in the Navy. We were so thrilled and happy for him...and sadly, David continues to be missed by those who lives he touched"

This tribute was added by Sybil Villanueva on 29th January 2016

"Thinking about the Popper Family today, and lifting them in prayer.  Also remembering with fondness, our time with David on the Honduras mission trip, he always made me laugh."

This tribute was added by Cyndi Ritter on 29th January 2016

"I did not know David but I do know his parents and through them I knew him well enough to be devastated by his death. So I am once again reminded of the sorrow they must feel. It must be so difficult as David was their delight.
Reading these posts I hope They are reminded of the beauty he brought to this world, the lives he touched and the love he left behind. May they find comfort in this."

This tribute was added by Joan Selig on 29th January 2016

"Hard to believe it has been 2 years since David passed. I really loved working with him at Disney and miss his smile and his great interactions with the guests. Blessing to the Popper family."

This tribute was added by Ryan Bessemer on 6th November 2015

"I can honestly say there are a few people in your life you will meet that you will always remember no matter how many years go by and how far you are away from them and David was one of those people to me I have so many good memories of him fun times in Everett and Korea and the gulf he could always make me laugh no matter how terrible of a day I had and he always knew the right thing to say to defuse a bad situation I will really miss him. Rest in peace brother you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Christopher Elder on 23rd August 2015

"Today I am remembering you by writing a story about how funny and  goofy you are.  And I'm sitting here wishing I was at writing the story because that means that you're no longer here with us. I miss you brother.  I'm am  dedicating my Chief Select season to your memory because I wouldn't be where I am without brothers like you to help prop me up to the leader I am today."

This tribute was added by Joan Selig on 17th July 2015

"It was such a pleasure working with David at Disney at The Magic of Disney Animation Bldg at Disney Hollywood Studios. He had such a great sense of humor and was always so good with the guests and had a big smile everyday. I wish he was here to celebrate his 29th birthday today."

This tribute was added by Christopher Elder on 1st February 2015

"My thoughts are with David's family."

This tribute was added by Syed Shariff on 29th January 2015

"We pray that God gives you peace and comfort in knowing that David is in Heaven with his maker, May you always cherish his loving memories.
God bless you and family!"

This tribute was added by Jodi White on 29th January 2015

"To my sweet Nephew,

Words will never be able to describe the pain of not having you here, but know that you are thought of and loved yesterday, today and forever.  I miss you tremendously and will love you always....heaven is lucky to have you.  Keep them smiling....  Love, Aunt Jodi ❤️"

This tribute was added by Terry Delahunty on 29th January 2015

"my thoughts are with David's family."

This tribute was added by Heather Worley on 29th January 2015

"I'll always remember David and how much fun he was to work with at the Magic of Disney Animation. He could always make me laugh and I loved making him laugh many times too. He was so good to the guests and his fellow cast members. He always had a positive attitude while at work. My thoughts,hugs and prayers go out to his family today!"

This tribute was added by Fred P on 29th January 2015

"David's wonderful life on earth and his beautiful, eternal spirit is thought of now and always."

This tribute was added by Joan Selig on 29th January 2015

"It is hard to believe it has been a year already since David's passing. He was such a great Disney Cast member and really missed working with him. He was always so great with the guests and the kids and had an infectious smile. It was a sad day when this precious light was lost."

This tribute was added by Fred P on 27th December 2014

"His life, legacy, and wonderful spirit will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Dylan Goldston on 19th July 2014

"I was a good friend of David's. We shared lots of great times in the Navy. He left me some of my most fond memories. It's been about six months since he passed and I still find myself thinking about him all the time. We  experienced overseas ports together as liberty buddies and had the time of our lives. I am very thankful to have known my boy Popper. In our friendship he taught me more than I would have ever imagined. I know he's having a better time up there than all of us. I can't wait to be liberty buddies again some day!


This tribute was added by Jasmin Shackelford on 17th July 2014

"Happy Birthday, Popper! You're never forgotten."

This tribute was added by charles saba on 17th July 2014

"Hello to Family and Friends of David
I, along with these many others, had the opportunity to laugh with David. I knew him right before he went into the Navy. We spent time together getting Tasers ready to be shipped to Brazil. I was desperate for help and he bailed me out, with laughter and energy. Once, when we had a slow day, just for kicks he went out and washed the fleet of cars parked in the driveway. He had that kind of energy. And when he was done, those cars shone; but not as much as the shine of his smile. As I close my eyes for this brief moment, I can see him standing in front of me, with that quizzical look on his face and that special wry smile when he knew I was doing something that wouldn't quite work out. It didn't and he knew, he just knew. That's David."

This tribute was added by Theresa Elam on 17th July 2014

"Happy Birthday, David!!! You are so missed!"

This tribute was added by Jim Gramza on 6th March 2014

"We here at NavyDads.com have just learned of David's passing. We are very saddened to hear of the news. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. May he always have fair winds and following seas."

This tribute was added by Harry Anderson on 14th February 2014

"I had the honor and pleasure of watching David grow up as a neighbor from age 4 until his very untimely death. I say honor because I can honestly say I have never known a finer young man. He epitomized all the qualities a parent would hope for in their child. He was always respectful, in a good mood, thoughtful, polite, helpful, considerate, and so much more. I always considered him an extended part of our family as though he were another son.
He also was always a pleasure to see or simply be around. Whenever we saw each other outside, we both would gravitate to each other even if only for a brief interval. We cared for and about each other. I enjoyed watching him play with his dog, throw a football, or practice his golf swing, sometimes without a club. Those were always good shots.
One day I took him to Interlachen for a game of golf. He was an amazing golfer. I had one of the best rounds of my life. This in part was a reflection of fear of embarrassing myself in front of him. In part it was also a reflection of just how much fun it was to be with him. What I remember most about that day was the pride I felt just being with him. I was not expecting that feeling, it just happened.
I loved David as though he were my own son. I will always greatly miss him."

This tribute was added by Susan Longden on 13th February 2014

"Dear Poppers - Our son, Joe shared with us the shocking news of David's passing.  Our hearts go out to you in losing a wonderful son and brother at such a young age.  We are praying for God's peace to surround you in the difficult days ahead, and may the comfort of knowing you will see David in eternity carry you through your sadness and loss.  Our memories of David Matthew go way back to when he and Joe were preschool friends playing under chairs in their "make believe world" in the waiting area of the dance studio where their big sisters took ballet.  David was a true and loyal friend way back then, and I have no doubt that he remained that way throughout his life.  We are blessed to have known him.  Praying for you in Christ's love from the Longden's."

This tribute was added by Tom Pinnock on 12th February 2014

"For years of my life I considered David to be one of my closest friends. I just want to share a couple of stories that I fondly remember.

When we were on the golf team at Orangewood together we played a match against the worst golfer in history (literally) who we knew only as "Ben". I'll never forget when Ben hit his ball so close to the edge of a lake that he had to stand in the water to take his next shot. He took his shoes and socks off, rolled up his pants, got in the water and then proceeded to shank his ball right into the very lake he was standing in. David and I burst out laughing so hard that we literally stuck our heads inside our golf bags to try and maintain what little honor as competitors we had left.

David and I went on a mission trip to Honduras with a group of Orangewood people when we were in the 9th grade and it was the first time that either of us had ever been to a third world country. Needless to say we were both in shock the second we arrived having grown up in nicer parts of the world. The only way I was able to endure that "terrible" trip was thanks to David's witty sense of humor that had me laughing so hard that my face and stomach muscles hurt with intense pain. It seemed that every minute we were creating inside jokes that we would go on to talk about for years. I had never laughed more before in my life and over a decade later I still haven't. I have since been on a number of trips to third world countries to help various groups of people and I can guarantee you that I would have never done so if it wasn't for David showing me that with a good attitude you can find light in the darkest of places.

I didn't get to spend much time with David after high school but my memories of him are some of my favorite memories of my entire life."

This tribute was added by Kristen Miedema on 12th February 2014

"I am so sadden to find out about the passing of David Popper....I went to Orangewood with him from elem, till he left.  He was always so kind hearted and with a smile.  We used to talk about sports all the time together.  My prayers and thoughts are with each any everyone of you."

This tribute was added by Rod Bayliss on 11th February 2014

"Dear Popper Family,
My family and I have very heavy hearts due to David's passing.  We always look forward to seeing all of you at church every Sunday and lunch for our girls is sometimes the highlight of the weekend.  I've come to know David over the last 4 or 5 years and have always found him to be very fun and full of zest, especially when discussing golf and his most recent rounds.  I will miss verbally jabbing at him with the small issues and growing pains that we all endure.  He was a remarkable young man and will always have a spot in our hearts.  Mr. Popper, if you need a golf partner sometime in the future, I can't take David's place completely, however, I will do my best.  Love the Bayliss'"

This tribute was added by Sherry Hobbie on 10th February 2014

"Our hearts are heavy with your pain and loss.  We were remembering chatting with David following church the Sunday after Amy's wedding.  I talked with him a bit of military life, where he'd been in the Navy, etc.  He was so cordial and very much a gentleman to someone he hardly knew.  What a hole your family must be experiencing.  We are praying that you may sense our Father's strong arms about each of you to comfort now and in the days ahead."

This tribute was added by Sara Glomski on 9th February 2014

"Dear Popper Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. My parents and I were at the service yesterday (although we missed signing the guestbook) and it was so beautiful. Amy and Mr. Popper, you did a fantastic job. I haven't seen David since our middle school days. I know how much you loved David and he loved you and I enjoyed all the stories you told about him. I'm sure he was listening from heaven and felt very honored by the service. I have been praying that God will comfort your family during this very difficult time.
Love, Sara (Lane) Glomski & the Lane family"

This tribute was added by Jess Grose on 8th February 2014

"Today my heart is especially heavy for my Popper family. David brought so much joy to his family, and I don't know if I've ever seen a sister have as much pride for a brother as Amy has had for David. I still can't believe that he's gone, but know he is with our Heavenly Father and that we will see him again on the other side. Praying for peace and healing for you all."

This tribute was added by Linda Green on 8th February 2014

"I have fond memories of the young Popper family around school during the early days of Orangewood. You were (are) a delightful family.

Chuck and I trust you will feel God's loving arms wrapped tightly around you during those unexpected waves of emotion when you need HIM most.

We are sorry... Linda and Chuck Green (ie: Miss LePage)"

This tribute was added by Sybil Villanueva on 8th February 2014

"Our most enjoyable memories of David Matthew was the time we spent together on a mission trip to Honduras.  I will always remember David and our daughter Alexis, entertaining and taking care of the children. It was a wonderful time of serving, loving and laughing together. We feel very blessed to have had this time with him."

This tribute was added by Michele Holding on 7th February 2014

"Over the last 6 years of knowing David's sister, Amy, I have had several encounters with her "little brother." I remember one of the first times we got to hang out was at one of our QP Christmas Parties. David showed up and in his usual way stayed cool and calm while Amy frantically introduced him to as many people as she could. When I finally got a chance to sit down with him around the bonfire we soon got into a very deep conversation. It became clear to me that evening that I was talking to a young man trying to figure out who he was and what life was all about... He was asking questions I hadn't found answers to or even bothered to ask myself. Skipping ahead a few years to Amy's wedding this past month, I had the pleasure of being around David again as he supported his sister. The man I encountered during those few days was not the same man I had conversed with a few years earlier.  There was no question that through the ups and downs of life he had made huge strides towards his quest for self discovery. It's obvious he didn't do this alone... These posts make it very clear that he had the love of his family and friends to support him along his journey. Now he is continuing that journey alongside God and Jesus Christ in heaven.  I will always remember the man who so humbly accepted praise for his service to our country, the man who deeply loved and cared for his sister, the man who respected his parents, the man who knew who he was in Christ."

This tribute was added by Miike Payne on 7th February 2014

"It's no wonder to me that David was so quickly liked and admired in the Navy. I feel like his personality appealed to many different types of people. He was unique, a little quirky, and very funny! We really got each other, both on and off the golf course. He was one of the few guys I've ever met that I could never be criticized by or say anything wrong, and that led to a close relationship and a myriad of inside jokes. I will never forget David Popper."

This tribute was added by Brooke Prince on 6th February 2014

"Dear Popper Family:

First of all my heart has been so saddened after hearing of David's passing. Even though I didn't know David Mathew very well, I grew up hearing stories about him from his grandmother Claudine as well as from my grandmother Mabel. It seemed like he was always into mischief, like all little boys growing up, and would bring such laughter and joy to our grandmothers. I remember them just laughing and laughing when talking about him. I also remember everyone talking about what a great golfer he was. I know last time I talked to Amy at a family reunion, she said how much he loved the navy. I always thought it was so amazing how close they were as siblings and how proud Amy was of her brother. I think it is evident how much of a wonderful guy David Mathew was and how much he will be missed. I just would like to say how much I admire the Popper Family and the Christian character they have always portrayed. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Brooke Prince"

This tribute was added by Meg Coleman on 6th February 2014

"I met David only a few times over the years, however, I feel like I knew him well through Amy's stories!  His sweet spirit will be missed.  I know he was so happy for Amy and her wedding just a few weeks ago.  Rutledge and I pray for peace for your family during this difficult time.  

Meg and Rutledge Coleman"

This tribute was added by Jullian Perrodin on 5th February 2014

"Dear Popper Family,

"I'm AT3 Perrodin the first time I met David was in the showers in our berthing on the ship we are both tall so our heads poked above the showers and we just started talking we were laughing so hard how casual we were about it that's how we became buddies we also were in security together we would relieve on another. The last thing he told me was take it easy today bro. Take it easy David.

Jullian Perrodin"

This tribute was added by Jeff Rainwater on 5th February 2014

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the Popper family.  David and I were assigned roommates in the dorm freshman year at Mississippi State.  He was excited I had a TV and I was excited he had a Jessica Simpson poster!!  David, you were a hell of a golfer and great guy.  RIP buddy!"

This tribute was added by Alexandra Mansbach on 4th February 2014

"Dear Popper Family,
Most of my favorite high school memories include David.  Whether we were boogie boarding at the beach, playing miniature golf at the local putt-putt course (I was too embarrassed to play the real thing in front of him), or just driving around town in his 4Runner, I was always smiling when I was with David.  His sense of humor was so quick and he always had me laughing.  When my dad became ill several years ago, David was there for me whenever I needed a friend to talk to or to lean on.  To this day, he remains one of the kindest and most caring people I have ever known.  I feel so blessed to have known him.  He is so loved and will be deeply missed.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  Love, Alex"

This tribute was added by Amy Popper Oakley on 4th February 2014

"Winter Park High alumni would like to express their condolences to the family.

Winter Park High (transferred from OrlandoSentinel.com)"

This tribute was added by Amy Popper Oakley on 4th February 2014

"David, Connie and Amy, I am so sadden to have heard of the loss of your son. I remember him coming in the office when I worked for you ! My prayers and love are with you !

Christine Strecker (transferred from OrlandoSentinel.com)

This tribute was added by Amy Popper Oakley on 4th February 2014

"David, Connie and Amy,

We are so sorry to hear about the loss of David Matthew. I wish I was there to hug you all and cry with you. You are in our hearts and prayers even though we are far away. I will always remember David Matthew as that cute little boy in the carpool line with you Connie when we picked the girls up from school every day.

Matt and Lisa Allen (transfered from OrlandoSentinel.com)"

This tribute was added by Cody Parker on 4th February 2014

"I'm in complete disbelief at this point... The last time I saw Popper, we were at the bar having a great time while talking about our plans for the future, even if they became sarcastic/unrealistic at times. While the Navy sent us in different directions, I will always remember his infectious smile and the wit that constantly kept me on my toes. To his family and friends, I am truly sorry for your loss, he was a good man with a bright future ahead of him. He served his country with the kind of attitude and motivation that others should and do envy. I'm honored to have met him, and I wish him fair winds and following seas, until we meet again..."

This tribute was added by kimsey carpenter on 4th February 2014

"I met sweet David at Amy's wedding. While I didn't get to know him well, I got to see the joy on his face when Amy walked down the aisle. He was so happy to see Chris and Amy get married and you could see how much he loved his family. Praying for all of you."

This tribute was added by Lelyn Knowlden on 4th February 2014

"My thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences be with the Popper family. I met David when I checked onboard the Nimitz a year ago. We clicked because for one we both like laughing, even if the situation is "supposed" to be a serious one. And two we both speak the language of Sarcasm very well. He had a habit of making people laugh and he did it effortlessly. David, your smile and your presence will be missed."

This tribute was added by Alicia Carby on 4th February 2014

"I only spent a handful of times with David, but enjoyed his company nonetheless. He was such a sweet young man who laughed at us girls a lot and for some reason always remembered me as "the girl who wore off the shoulder shirts. Haha.
David, we were all so proud of you when you joined the Navy and I wish we could have toured around San Diego during one of your times passing through. You are a gem."

This tribute was added by Don Williams on 4th February 2014

"My daily habit of reading obits within the Orlando Sentinel sometimes results in reading of people dying way too young and this one certainly qualifies. I met David, Jr. only a few times but certainly heard lots of stories about him through his Mom and Dad, all of which were consistent with the many wonderful things I have read this morning on this site. Knowing that he and his family are strong believers in our Lord gives me great comfort as only the Lord can provide us with any type of peace or comfort, and eventually perhaps some understanding, in a time such as this. David, Connie, Amy and the rest of the family, please know that I and many others are praying for you now and in the future. God bless you!"

This tribute was added by charles saba on 4th February 2014

"I will miss David. I had the pleasure of working with him right before he joined the Navy. Everyday he would come over to my home office and he would bring four things with him: his mega-watt smile, his high energy, his good humor and according to my wife, his good looks. We laughed all day and even managed to get some work done. One day we had little to do, so we decided to wash our cars, I never saw my car cleaner os shinier after we got done with it. Just thinking about those days brings a smile, a smile made real by David. I know he is with friends that met him on his new journey, they must all be smiling.
Charles and Eliana Saba"

This tribute was added by Cyndi Ritter on 4th February 2014

"To the Family of David,

I only know David through the stories told to me by his mom and dad but I feel like I have seen him grow into a proud Navy man through those stories and pictures. I know that you brought light and love to your family. I wanted to share just one verse of a Hymn I love.

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!"

This tribute was added by Fred P on 4th February 2014

"David's was and will always be a source of pride and beautiful memories for his family and friends. May the joy of reflections on his mortal life, the precious gift of his life on earth joined with a loved and loving family and friends, ease the profound sorrow felt on his passing."

This tribute was added by Whitney Boudreaux on 4th February 2014

"From our first year in college, Amy would talk about her brother with such love and laughter. I finally met him in college and quickly understood why all the laughter. David knew how to bring on a smile with a single sentence. I didn't see him again until Amy's wedding where I had the privilege to walk down the aisle with him. I will never forget the smile he had on his face when he stood at the top of the stairs, put both arms out, had a lady appear on either side, and a roar of laughter and claps rang through the church.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, your friends and your family. You will be missed."

This tribute was added by Brandon Kitchens on 4th February 2014

"To the Popper family,

I am AM3(AW/SW) Kitchens. I have had the pleasure to have worked with David. He was one of the guys that never made me feel like I was an outsider. He knew about my lifestyle, but never chastised me for it. He and I would have discussions about life and our certain viewpoints about it.

He was a great guy all around. I have never heard one bad thing about him because he was such a genuine person. My heart goes out to you, the family, during these troubled times. May God's grace be with you always.

-Brandon Kitchens"

This tribute was added by Trevor Borchardt on 4th February 2014

"I'm so sorry for your family's loss of David.  I was a good friend of his on our ship, and it is a true loss for anyone that ever had the privilege to know him.  I was his "sponsor" to check into the command and I picked him up outside of the base and checked him onto the ship for the first time.  I remember when I met him, I thought, "Who is this goofy looking guy" because he was just standing there with his uniform on, his seabag and a big smile across his face.  Immediately upon meeting him and talking with him I knew we were going to be friends because of our similar laid back attitudes and sense of humor.  We got along very well because David was always someone you could joke with and he always had a way of being funny and finding the humor in every situation we had, no matter how shitty it was or how pissed off we were about work or any of the stuff that was going on, on the boat.  We could always laugh about anything.  I always enjoyed his company and he was well liked by all of his peers in the navy.  I was a couple ranks higher than him when he checked in so I kind of took him "under my wing" and tried to show him around and give him tips about stuff and how things worked on the boat.  I always kept an eye on him to try and help guide him, and he adapted to the boat life quickly, made a lot of friends and learned his job quickly.  I knew he was a really smart guy, a lot smarter then what most people thought he was, mainly because of his laid-back attitude and his ability to not care or stress out about stuff that didn't matter.  I admired that about him because I think some people took a lot of stuff way too serious and it was refreshing to see someone still be able to stay positive in situations where most people stress and breakdown, he had that resilience to him.
        David and I had a lot of good times together, I went golfing with him once in San Diego and he helped give me a few tips on my swing.  We drank a lot of beer that day and had a lot of laughs.  He was always some one that was fun to be around and some one that you could have a beer with and just laugh.  He always brought a good positive energy and vibe to the group.  I remember in Thailand, when we were on deployment, we were up late one night and we met a Thai person who was playing the guitar and singing American Cover-songs and we were drinking and dancing in the street to this guy who was trying to play good American music but was way off but none of us cared because we were all just having a good time and just enjoying the night.
        I ended up leaving the command after that port to transfer to my next command in southern California, and when I said goodbye to him I told him that we needed to meet up when they got back from deployment and that when we got out of the military we should all go to college together somewhere.  I'll never forget the laughs I had with David and all the positive energy he always had to him.  I considered him a great friend of mine and I only wish I had got to have more time hanging out with him, he was a hell of a friend and a truly good person.  I'm so sorry about this unfortunate loss, it's honestly all I've been able to think about since I heard the news yesterday.  I'm at a loss of words to say on the subject, but I hope the best for you and the rest of his family, and I hope that my story of meeting him and the impression that he made on me and all of his friend may help you guys cope in some way.  He will be truly missed by all of the friends he made on the Nimitz, I know many people liked him and adored him as a person.

Trevor Borchardt"

This tribute was added by Gabrielle Beaudry on 3rd February 2014

"Popper family,

I am so sorry for the loss of David. I had the privilege of becoming friends with him during my time working at Disney. We only knew each other for a short time but I have so many great memories with him.

We managed to have fun no matter what we were doing, even if it was parking strollers at work for what felt like hours at a time. Some of my favorite memories with David are playing putt putt together on a Christmas themed course and having a fake snowman pelt David in the back of the head with water. One night we sat and made “the greatest music playlist ever” together. He introduced me to Slurpees and was in complete shock that I had never had one before; we had to get in the car and go to the gas station to get one immediately. And my favorite, to make my work day a little better he’d sometimes leave me coke zeros in the break room fridge just because he knew how much I loved them.

To me, those moments define David perfectly. Just a fun loving guy who can make the smallest moment seem like a good time. Always looking to make someone smile. I’ll always be grateful for the friendship that we had and I hope all of these wonderful memories of David help make a tough time a little easier on you. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers."

This tribute was added by Kyle Jarvis on 3rd February 2014

"I met David back in 9th-10th grade, at the Winter Park Pines golf course. He brought talent onto the course and I never could quite catch up to him. I was surprised that he kept playing with me considering how much time I spent trying to find my golf ball every time we played. But he was there to have fun and didn't care how long it took to finish the round. He had a great personality and we shared many laughs on the course together(mostly at how bad I was at golf) I went up there every day that Summer and it was rare that I didn't run into him on the range. He was a great friend and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. I wish we became closer but I am extremely fortunate to have met him. There are plenty of birdies to be made up there and I know we will play another round together when we meet again. My thoughts and prayers are with all of David's family and friends during this sad time."

This tribute was added by christie gregovich on 3rd February 2014

"David will forever be my best friend's kind, much taller (than me anyway) brother whose usual grin widened with laughter as we layered ourselves with buccaneer cutlasses, eye patches, stuffed parrots and dreadlocked Jack Sparrow captain's hats outside Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, cracking "ARRR we done yet?" while we begged strangers for yet another picture (which I'm sure he'd smile to see in the gallery). To be around David in these moments when he was at most himself - from playing pirates to playing cards around the patio table or playing ball with maddie - these are my favorite memories. Standing next to David as we watched Amy and her father dance together at the wedding, I was just as touched by his genuine pride and happiness. His sense of humor was as fierce as his love and devotion for his family, and he will be so missed here until we can see him again."

This tribute was added by Jenny Kentner Harris on 3rd February 2014

"Dear Popper family,
I only met David once, but I feel like I've known him for close to 4 years since that is how long I've known Amy!  I have heard about sweet David Popper for a long time and was so excited to finally meet him when he was in Nashville for Amy & Chris’ wedding.  I told Amy this story the other day, but I will share on here now.  I was helping the beautiful bride and all of the other ladies in her life the morning of the wedding at the hotel, when there was a knock on the door, I ran to answer and there he was holding a cup of coffee for G-ma.  David looked at me like I was nuts when I saw who it was and said, “sweet David Popper, I am so glad to finally meet you as I have heard so much about you for so long.”  I would have looked at me nuts as well!  I introduced myself and told him how I had heard about him and he was polite and giggled and said it was good to meet me as well, but he hadn't heard of me!  Throughout the day, whenever I saw him he was funny and would say he knew me now.
I know how much David meant to his family and how love definitely surrounded him.  My heart hurts for your loss and you are in my thoughts and prayers.


This tribute was added by James Mason on 3rd February 2014

"I worked with David on USS Nimitz while he was in security during our last deployment.  I remember how he went out of his way to make everyone's day a little better no matter where we were in the world.  He touched peoples lives everywhere he went.  I wish I had been able to get know him better but I know the richness of his life will go on and that we are all better because of his influence in our lives."

This tribute was added by Deac Williams on 3rd February 2014

"I didn't know him personally while I was aboard the NIMITZ but I did serve with him and AO1 Shackelford during the 2009-2010 WESTPAC deployment and while the ship was in yards in Bremerton, WA. She speaks very highly of him; always had a smile on his face. My heart and prayers go out to his family, friends, and ALL that knew him; he will forever be apart of our NIMITZ family. We sing a song in my church and my faith, it says "HOLD TO HIS HAND; HOLD ON TO GOD'S UNCHANGING HAND!!" Build your hopes on things ETERNAL; HOLD TO GOD'S UNCHANGING HAND!!" Anchors away shipmate...

Deltravis Lamont Williams
YN2(SW)                   USN"

This tribute was added by Romy Duran on 3rd February 2014

"Hello. I went to boot camp with you David. My heart and prays go out to the Friends and family who were able to meet this fine young man. Again my prays and condolences go to is family. God Bless"

This tribute was added by Romy Duran on 3rd February 2014

"Hello. I went to boot camp with you David. My heart and prays go out to the Friends and family who were able to meet this fine young man. Again my prays and condolences go to is family. God Bless"

This tribute was added by Amanda Bardwell on 3rd February 2014

"I will always cherish the memories I have from the day that David joined Amy, Chrisite and I at Disney. He was working there at the time so he entertained us with behind the scenes Disney tales. David had such a great sense of humor and was so much fun to be around. He was a true southern gentlemen, always polite and well mannered. His brotherly love for Amy showed best when he would give the skin between her chin and neck a little tug. (Amy knows that I'm talking about. :)) But seriously, Amy's love for her brother and his for her is unmatched. David left us way too soon. He will truly be forever missed by all who knew him."

This tribute was added by Terry Delahunty on 3rd February 2014

"To the Popper Family.

I was so sad to hear of David's passing Although I never met David, those who did tell of a clean cut hard working young man who was thriving in the Navy  He came from a great family and no words I write can possibly express the sense of loss. I thank him for his service and see that his shipmates regarded him highly. Terry Delahunty"

This tribute was added by Jasmin Shackelford on 3rd February 2014

"To the friends and family of David:

My name is AO1 (AW/SW) Jasmin Shackelford, and I came to know David during the 2013 WESTPAC deployment on the USS Nimitz. As we were both assigned to AIMD department, I worked with him quite often.The trait I liked about him most was his ability to crack a joke and say something sarcastic at the most random of times. I only smile when I think of him, because that's how I remember him-- forever smiling. It was a pleasure and an honor to serve alongside such a light-hearted soul. God bless David and all of you."

This tribute was added by Kathleen Dart on 3rd February 2014

"I am so sorry for the loss of such a great young man. I had the pleasure of training David at WDW where he had to learn about doing a show with Mushu, and it takes patience and a good heart. David was able to learn fast while making it fun too. Being a fellow veteran, I knew where his heart was and that was serving his country. I often would ask his uncle how he was doing and he would proudly share information with me as well as watching him grow and achieve his dreams on FB. I do hope that the fond memories of David help family and friends to be comforted during this awful time of loss. Rest in Peace. Hugs to the family and friends."

This tribute was added by Chadd Russell on 3rd February 2014

"To the Popper Family,

I had the pleasure of knowing Popper from the very beginning of his naval career, the place where it all started at, the recruiting station in DEP.  We both were sworn in a few months apart and started on the long trek to work out and stay in shape together in preparation for bootcamp.  If I remember right I believe he did come to my going away party at the bar around the corner from the recruiting station.  We stayed in touch by Facebook and lo and behold when I showed up on board the USS Nimitz there was Popper, all smiles and glad to see me.  We were even in the same department!  I later was sent to Security and would come by his shop often to play video games or just hang out.  He later managed to get sent to security as well and we ended up in the same section!  It still amazes me that we were able to stay that close in our naval careers and I hope he will stay close in spirit to keep the good times rolling and smiles all around.  My heart goes out to you all.  RIP Buddy.


AT3 Russell, Chadd A."

This tribute was added by Tre Harris on 3rd February 2014

"I will miss all of the times where David, and I would go to our hang out spot on the ship, and see if we could see any shooting stars. Or the time that we were pretty sure we saw Mermaids in the Mediterranean Sea. We could just talk about random things and that would make our night shift just fly by. I am going to miss you "Pop". My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family"

This tribute was added by Alexander Victorio on 3rd February 2014

"Hello, my name is Alex Victorio (AT3). I met David at the beginning of deployment and he had such a positive attitude even when we were in the lowest parts. He had such an amazing positive attitude and was always smiling about anything. He had that ability to cheer those around him and we always talked about our goals and what crazy workout routine we were willing to try. He always told me to be me and don't let anything bring you down. Im gonna miss you a lot my friend. It was an honor to work with you. Rip my friend, you will be missed onboard the nimitz and section 1 section."

This tribute was added by Jed Choate on 3rd February 2014

"My name is Jed Choate (AM3 Choate) and I worked with him in security and in our parent department. He was a stand up guy and could be counted on to get things done. He was always smiling and had a great sense of humor about him. I'll miss getting to be around him and crack jokes at everything."

This tribute was added by Theresa Elam on 3rd February 2014

"To the popper family,

My name is jack elam (AZ2 Elam) I worked with popper on the ship for a little over a year. I loved working with him and being around him, he just had one of the greatest personalities that was contagious. if you were having a bad day he'd say something off the wall to get you to laugh. He always asked me how my kids were doing and if my wife was ok. My daughter met him a few times and just gravitated to him and he would just sit there and play with her. He was a great guy who I will miss and think about often. David I miss ya and I love ya rest easy, I'll see ya on the other side, man."

This tribute was added by Nicole Hathway-Davis on 3rd February 2014

"To the friends and family of David:
I first met David in mid-late 2013 on USS Nimitz. I worked with him briefly and enjoyed having him around. My deepest condolences to the Popper family. He will always remain in all of the hearts of the lives he touched. I wish I had more of a chance to get to know him better. Again, my deepest condolences. Blessed be.

AZ2 Hathway-Davis"

This tribute was added by Ryan Biehl on 3rd February 2014

"To David's family my thoughts and prayers are with you.
My name is Ryan Biehl (AE2 Biehl) and I can't say that I knew David all that well. But I did see him very often, either in the tunnel at work or in the berthing. The one thing that always struck me about David was that he always had a smile on his face, no matter what crazy stuff was going on at work.  It's like he knew when someone was having a bad day he would pat us on the back and give that smile and no matter what even for just a second our day would be better.  I will miss turning the corner in the berthing and seeing him just standing there talking with someone and him looking over and giving that "what's up man" smile and wave. You will be greatly missed buddy."

This tribute was added by Christina Porter on 3rd February 2014

"David always had a big smile and space wherever he went... And if he wasn't smiling it didn't take him very long start smiling again.. He always had an encouraging word for me he never judged me... I can't believe I'm receiving news about his death like this. I can't believe he's gone..."

This tribute was added by Christopher Elder on 2nd February 2014

"I was David's LPO when he from when first checked into the Nimitz till a couple months ago.  I spent the majority of my time with him whether it was working, eating, in the gym, watching movies or mentoring him with his officer package and qualifications.  I grew to consider him more of a brother, due to spending so much time with him.  Dave and I had some rough days out to sea, but even despite how hard the day was he would always find a way to make every one around him smile.   Dave I miss you brother and you will always be in my heart.  

one day at a time, brother."

This tribute was added by Tim Whittenburg on 2nd February 2014

"To the Family and Friends of David Popper:

My name is Tim Whittenburg (AT1 Whittenburg) and I worked very closely with David and I will really miss him.  He was a good kid and a very hard worker.  He always had a smile on his face even when things weren't going the way he would have liked.  I was so shocked and sad deed to hear that he had passed.  My prayers are with you all during this tough time."

This tribute was added by Adam Baumel on 2nd February 2014

"I didn't know David too long since he got to the ship only a few months before I got out of the navy, but in the time I did know him he was a very fun and carefree guy.  He always wanted to be part something humorous whether created by him or at his expense.  We had some good times on the Nimitz.  Popper will certainly be missed..."

This tribute was added by Jeffrey Chew on 2nd February 2014

"To the Popper Family,

First and foremost i want to send my sincerest condolences to the family. My name is Jeff Chew(AO2 Chew) I served with david on this most recent deployment and he was in charge of my shops records. I spoke with him on a daily basis about our gear and on occasion, hobbies in general. He always made things easier on me and i could tell he was a good hearted individual. I know he will be missed. He was a great guy."

This tribute was added by Don Shane on 2nd February 2014

"I had the privilege and honor of working with David when he was here at Walt Disney World. He was honest, true, and just real good guy to be around. It was always a pleasure to have him show up for a few weeks. He served our country proudly and we are very proud of him too. He was and always will be remembered as an American hero. Rest easy my friend."

This tribute was added by Brennen Erlenbach on 2nd February 2014

"I was fortunate enough to be able to call my David my friend. I met him in boot camp and also went to "A" school together. He was always making me laugh and I loved hanging out with him. Your family is in my prayers. Anchors aweigh buddy."

This tribute was added by Gene Swagger on 2nd February 2014

"I never got to work with David at Disney. From one shipmate to another we are always brothers. R. I. P. David you will forever have warm winds a gentle seas. Thank you for your service. Anchors aweigh"

This tribute was added by Ansley Kynes on 2nd February 2014


It was so fun getting to witness your "hero's welcome" at Amy & Chris's wedding reception!  I only wish I hadn't had to follow in your footsteps- I definitely didn't get half as many cheers from the crowd :)  You are dearly loved, and will be dearly missed.

Ansley & Matt Kynes"

This tribute was added by caelie couell on 2nd February 2014

"I was so lucky to work with David when I was an intern at Disney World. Always made me feel welcome at work, he was a true gentleman. My thoughts are with the Popper family. Rest easy, David."

This tribute was added by Kathryn Kennedy on 2nd February 2014

"I still remember when David when come over and help Amy babysit me and Hannah. We would make him play the movie game with us, and I'm sure he just loved every second of it! I ran into him recently at Einsteins, and it had been so long since I'd seen him. I remember talking to him and thinking about how he had grown up to be such a nice guy and how it was so obvious he's apart of the Popper family. His presence was really something special. Love you guys!"

This tribute was added by john arthur on 2nd February 2014

"My prayers go out for your family brother thank you for all the laughs in bot camp.
-Tyler Arthur"

This tribute was added by Troy Owens on 2nd February 2014

"Hello everyone. I went boot camp with David. He was a good person and always made us laugh. I'm praying for him and his family. God bless you all.


Troy Owens"

This tribute was added by Heather Worley on 2nd February 2014

"David will forever be in my heart and he will always be remembered as a true American hero. I worked with David at the Magic of Disney Animation at the Hollywood Studios. He was such a joy to be around and could always make me laugh and snort. I also enjoyed making him laugh many times. It was a blessing to have known him/worked with him. Sending my love and hugs to his family."

This tribute was added by Amanda Ploutz on 2nd February 2014

"So sad to hear of his passing. I worked with David at Disney. He was very fun to work with. Cast members change at Disney all the time but, I have always remembered him and always will. RIP David."

This tribute was added by Julie Wood on 2nd February 2014

"I will miss David's infectious  laugh (that at times had a little nose snort at the end), his incredibly hilairous sense of humor that had you in tears, his "realness," which is extremely hard to find in people, and his overall compassion and love for others!!  He was truly an amazing human being that touched many, many lives and who will NEVER be forgotten through all of our memories and stories we will share for many years to come.  Feel incredibly blessed to have known him!  Love you all!"

This tribute was added by Tammy Henry on 2nd February 2014

"Dear Popper/Oakley families:
I only met David once, at Amy & Chris' wedding, but quickly I could see the love he had for his family and how proud he was to be there on his big sister's special day. I watched him as he quietly moved into and through the church prior to the service, and later in the reception, as if he was making sure everything was in order and perfect for Amy, very fatherlike. It brought a year to my eye then, to see his care and concern, and now knowing that God has placed him as your guardian angel, looking down from heaven to give you all that same protection. You'll all be in my prayers in the days ahead. Psalm 91:11"

This tribute was added by Joan Selig on 2nd February 2014

"I worked with David at Disney in 2012. He was so good with the guests, very polite and funny. He was a delight to work with. I was sad when he left, but know his heart was with the military. I am so sad to hear of his passing. He died way too young. My condolences to his family."

This tribute was added by Amy Popper Oakley on 2nd February 2014

"Hi Friends and Family of David:

Thank you for visiting this memorial website. We would love to celebrate David's life by collecting stories and photos from those who loved him the most. It's one of the things that is bringing the most peace to our family at this difficult time. Please post- away and we hope these stories make you smile and remember my brother."

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This memorial is administered by:

Amy Popper Oakley
Jodi White


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