Alvin Philip (Popeye) Wendling
OCEAN CITY — Al Wendling AKA “Popeye” or “Pop” Wendling, age 84, left this world to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on Oct. 17, 2020 at Stansell House Coastal Hospice in Ocean Pines. He died of lung cancer related disease.
He was born in East Baltimore on July 4, 1936 and was a true Yankee doodle dandy, the only son of the late Philip and Catherine (Freitag) Wendling, and grandson Peter and Susannah Wendling. He is survived by his devoted and patient wife, Sally (Nagle) Wendling, whom he met in Ocean City when he was in college and she was a waitress. They raised their family in Landover Hills, Md. before moving to Ocean Pines. They recently celebrated 61 years of marriage in August.
He leaves five sons and a daughter, Matthew (Brenda) of Edinburg, Va., Peter (Prayoon) of Berwyn Heights, Md., John (Lynne) of Ocean Pines, Chaz (K,elle) of Rockledge, Fla., Drew (girlfriend Patty) and Suzanne (David) Landacre of Camden, W.Va. He also he leaves five grandchildren, Coty-Sue (Joseph) Swiger, Josie-Lynn Landacre, Paige and Adam Wendling and Kylie Wendling. He was predeceased by his beloved grandson, Jacob (Jake) Landacre. He was a great-grand “pop” to Kolby, Kolton, and Korbin Swiger and Maddox Landacre. He also leaves numerous nieces and nephews to whom he was known affectionately as Uncle Al. He also will be missed by his pet cockatiel, Tanto and new mini-pug canine friend, Scout. He also left behind many friends — Michelle, George, Tony, Lisa and Vincent to name a few.
Alvin graduated from Baltimore Polytechnical Institute (BPI-1955) and the University of Maryland where he studied Industrial Arts Education (1960), and was pledged to the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduating he worked in the fabricated steel industry all the while working for the A&P grocery stores as a produce manager and various independent grocery stores in Montgomery County. For a period of time he worked as a maintenance foreman and assistant verger at the Washington Cathedral where he became an Episcopalian.
Popeye was truly an innovator of marketing the first “Temporary Tattoos” and joke novelties on the Boardwalk and in Downtown Ocean City. His shop resembled a combination of psychedelic light show, rock concert, T-shirt and Halloween apparel and tattoo parlor of by-gone days but with lots more fun novelty items for families with kids.
Pop certainly was one of the Boardwalk’s greatest showman for a generation of Ocean City visitors. Between 1985 and 2010 he could be observed strolling the Boardwalk as Popeye while promoting his temporary tattoos and Pops Joke shop on Somerset Avenue. They all now have become a part of the vanishing Ocean City history.
A private memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 at The Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin, Maryland at 1 p.m. Friends and relatives of the family are invited. Precautions will be exercised by wearing masks and cleaning hands.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Al’s memory may be made to St. John Nuemann Scholarship Fund, 11242 Reacetrack Rd., Berlin, Md. 21811, Stansell House Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733 Salisbury, Md. 21804 or the Ocean City Senior Center Meals on Wheels program, WorCOA Administrative Offices
4767 Snow Hill Rd, Snow Hill, Md. 21863.
Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral home in Berlin. Condolences may be shared with the family via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.