Edward Leonard Soapes, 92, of Edwardsville, died Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, at 4:39 p.m., at Stillwater Senior Living in Edwardsville.
Visitation will be on Thursday, Dec. 2, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Olive. The funeral service will begin immediately after visitation at 11 a.m. Pastor Tommy Brewer will officiate. Burial will follow at Mt. Olive Cemetery.
Mr. Soapes was born May 24, 1929 in Staunton, the son of Ralph “Cotton” and Bertha (Scheller) Soapes. He was an only child, very curious, experimenting with things like jumping off the roof with an umbrella and taking apart his new mechanical Popeye to see how it worked. That proved to be a prediction of things to come, as he later excelled as a mechanic.
He married Barbara (Taylor)Soapes on May 7, 1951 in Pocahontas, AR, and she survives. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
He was a well-rounded man who worked many types of jobs in his lifetime. He worked at Olin, Waggoner Electric, Bowman’s Motorcycle Shop, Ford Motor Company, Hano, Buske Trucklines and finished his career with Yellow Freight as a truck driver with over two million miles and no accidents. He ran his own service station in Mt. Olive for a time and sold and serviced Zundapp motorcycles, as well as anything else on wheels that needed repaired. He was an avid motorcyclist and helped lay out the flat track and also worked races.
Mr. Soapes was a member of the First United Methodist Church, VFW, Masons, Elks Club, and Teamsters. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, finishing as Sergeant of the Motor Pool. In his later years he worried about the Koreans who worked with their unit and how they fared after the war.
Mr. Soapes is survived by his wife Barbara; daughters Jeanine Vancauwelaert, Donna (husband Dennis) Yokley, and Darla (husband Tim) Pickerill; grandchildren Hollie (husband Brant) Fleming, Wendy (husband Brad) Schoen, Eric (wife Shannon) Vancauwelaert, Ian Vancauwelaert, Katie (husband Ryan) Wear, Tim (wife Sharon) Pickerill, and Trey Pickerill; and four great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Landon, Van and Hunter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Evan and Fred Taylor; and sons Tommy (in infancy) and Jeffrey.
Memorials should be directed to the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Olive or Mt. Olive Care Center.
Becker and Son Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at beckerandson.com.