VeteranMax D. Poppenhager Fatally Wounded In Louisiana, Mo.

Max PoppenhagerMax Dee Poppenhager, 28, of Louisiana, Mo., formerly of Astoria, was fatally wounded Thursday night at Hercules, Inc. plant in that city.

Plant Manager L. O. Johnston said Poppenhager was shot during a scuffle with a Burns Detective Agency guard who was hired to protect an area damaged by gunfire earlier. The plant has been strike-bound since May 1 when the contract of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union expired. Poppenhager was a member of the OCAW.

He was born March 3, 1940 at Astoria, a son of Orlen and Vilda Gilson Poppenhager. He graduated from Astoria Grade School and High School and served with the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1967.

Surviving are the parents; six sisters, Mrs. Linda Easley and Mrs. Patsy Miller of Astoria, Mrs. Carol Davis of Galesburg, Mrs. Rosemary Leto of Chicago, Mrs. Barbara Brown of Elsberry, Mo., and Mrs. Nancy Pressler of Springfield; two children, Timmy and Cecilia Poppenhager; three brothers, Phillip who is stationed at Bainbridge, Md., with the Navy, and Steve and Jeff of Astoria; paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Poppenhager of Astoria; and maternal grandmother, Mrs. Edna Gilson of Galesburg.

Coroner J. O. Mudd of Bowling Green, Mo., said he had sworn in a jury but that an inquest would not be scheduled “for probably a week or more” because he wanted to “screen the people very carefully” before asking them to testify. Mudd said that “men at the Hercules plant had been on strike recently” and that a guard “evidently shot the boy (Poppenhager).”

The coroner said details of the shooting were “vague” and probably would not be cleared up until after the inquest.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Astoria Christian Church with Rev. Joseph Gift officiating. Burial was in the Astoria Cemetery.

The above photo was taken May 17 at the alumni banquet when Max attended the reunion of his class of 1958.


Published in the Astoria Argus-Searchlight on 5/29/1968

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