COCKE COUNTY (WVLT) – Family members say Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, 61 will be laid to rest later this week in a private ceremony.
Volunteer TV News spoke to the infamous moonshiner’s daughter on Tuesday evening. She said that her father died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sky Sutton lives in Massachusetts and hasn’t actually seen her father since she was two years old.
“He was an American folk character," she said.
According to Ms. Sutton, Sky had recently been talking to him every now and then. She was also writing a book on him, which gave her insight into who her father was. That’s why she wasn’t surprised when she found out “Popcorn” had died.
“He said he was going to do it,” she recalled. “He said ‘I'm not going to jail.’"
According to Sky Sutton, his autopsy report lists the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning. Before his death, he violated federal parole for making liquor out of corn.
“He got in trouble because he never stopped,” she said. “When you do something long enough, you get a reputation and you'll get caught."
She says he took pride in his work. In an interview before “Popcorn” died, he explained how he told a judge he would never stop making shine.
“I told that judge, I said ‘well look, do you want me to pay you now for the next time I come back, or wait till I come back next time’” he said. “He laughed like hell and said, ‘well just wait till you come back next time.’"
According to Sky, folks either loved “Popcorn” or they hated him. She remembered that he had an enormous personality and was often described as charming.
“Aw me and him were raised up together and he was a fine person," said one his friends.
Though “Popcorn’s” daughter wasn’t surprised by his death, she did say it was an odd feeling to find out he went through with his threat not to go to jail.
“It was like finding out how a movie ends,” Sky said. “The movie didn't end the way I thought it would"
The title of Sutton’s book, which was basically finished until his death, is “Daddy Moonshine."
Funeral arrangements are still incomplete, but a service will be held at the Costner Maloy Funeral Home in Newport.
Sky does not plan to go to her father's funeral because that isn’t the way she wants to remember him.