Tripo Popovich passed away Wednesday, September 21st, in Galveston, surrounded by family. He was 87. Born on the Island (BOI) February 13, 1924, Tripo will long be remembered for his love to tell old stories… “ over and over again.”
A life-long resident of Galveston, Tripo was one of the “last true cowboys on Galveston Island” and was known as “the last of the Mohicans” as he was the last surviving sibling in his family of three brothers and one sister.
Tripo served his country during World War II in the Army Infantry. He landed on Omaha Beach in June 1944 during the invasion of Normandy. Injured in combat, Tripo was later awarded The Purple Heart. Following his tour of duty at Normandy, he returned to England and shortly thereafter went to Bastogne, where he was awarded the Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster. After serving in WWII, Tripo returned to Galveston and spent time as a prizefighter to counteract the injuries he sustained during the war.
Tripo then joined his brother in a successful local barbeque restaurant – located on 23rd Street. He was employed by the City of Galveston and worked in the Traffic Department – a position he held for almost 40 years until retiring in the mid-1990s.
Tripo Popovich (or “Jedo” as he was known to his grandchildren and “Uncle T” to most everyone else) will also be remembered for his “gift” of telling you your family history – that is if you “gave him your name and where you were from,” he would take it from there. He could be seen every morning with his friends at the Randall’s Coffee Club and the Sheriff’s Department Coffee Club on Wednesdays. Tripo always had a joke to share, living by his motto, “If you can’t laugh, life ain’t worth living.”
Tripo is preceded in death by his parents – Danilo and Spacia Popovich; Delores Popovich; his sister, Sophie Milosevich; his three brothers, Sam, Bob, and Bronko Popovich; and son-in-law, John McEldowney. He is survived by his son, Shawn Popovich, and wife, Kitty; his daughters, Stephanie Beall and husband, Henry; and Cynthia McEldowney and Bryan Parsons. The joys of his life were his grandchildren, Sabina and Haley Popovich; Jeremy and Sari Beall; and Landon Parsons. He will also be fondly remembered by all of his honorary grandchildren who considered him their Jedo as well.
The family will receive visitors from 5-7pm this Sunday, September 25th, at Malloy and Son Funeral Home, 31st and Broadway. A Pomen (Memorial Service) will be conducted immediately following the visitation at 7pm.
Funeral services will be held at 10am on Monday, September 26th, at the Serbian Orthodox Church with Father Serge Veselinovich officiating. The church is located at 4102 Avenue L. Burial will follow the service at the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers are Sam Popovich, Mimo Milosevich, Stevie Popovich, Mark Popovich, David Popovich and Johnnie Kovacevich.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions be made to the Sts. Constantine & Helen Serbian Orthodox Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 3280, Galveston, Texas 77552-0280.