The Lamar man known as the “Popcorn King” passes away at 90

Local News

William "Bill" Percy of Lamar passes away

LAMAR, Mo. — William “Bill” Percy of Lamar passed away at the age of 90 on January 12, 2022. Bill was known to many as the “Popcorn King” and the guy who set off the fireworks when the Lamar Tigers made a touchdown.

William “Bill” Percy

Bill, the husband of Jo Percy, and father of Sherri Banwart and Debbie Harris, became known as the “Popcorn King” about 20 years ago when he learned that Jasper Products would let him come once a week and pick up their over-runs of microwave popcorn. Every week, Bill made the trip from Lamar to Jasper to pick up his truckload of popcorn. What did he do with all of the popcorn? He gave it away. He gave it to anyone who wanted some! Everywhere he went, to a football game, a grocery store parking lot, to the park, he had popcorn in the back of the truck and wouldn’t let you walk away without a sack full of microwave popcorn. Some popcorn was donated to charities in the four states, but if you knew Bill, you knew that he gave out the popcorn as a gesture of friendship.

He was well known for shooting off fireworks after Lamar made a touchdown at home games. The tradition started in the mid-90’s when his grandson, Zach, played for the Lamar Tigers. Lamar didn’t make too many touchdowns back in the 90’s, but as the years went on and Lamar’s winning record improved, it was like the 4th of July on many fall Friday nights in Lamar.

Bill Percy would want to be remembered as a man who loved his family, and loved his community. He was born in Iantha to to Freda and John Percy back in 1931 and attended Liberal Schools until he entered the Air Force in 1952 where he served until 1962. He married Marilyn Jo Maupin on August 24, 1963. He worked for a short time at Lawn Boy before opening a service station with one of his brothers. Later, they started a lime spreading business and operated a Phillips 66 station. Eventually, he became the owner/operator of his own trucking business. Bill was a long-time member of the First Christian Church of Lamar and an avid fan of the Lamar Tigers.

Over the years, we featured Bill in a few of our news stories, as he was always willing to be on camera. When reporters would return to our news station after going to Lamar to cover news, many times they came back with…you guessed it…popcorn.

Rest in Peace Bill Percy, you will be missed.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Click here to send in your News Tip

Trending Stories