Mary Joan PopeJanuary 29, 1934 ~ October 17, 2017 (age 83)
Mary Joan Pope 83, of Penrose, Colorado, passed away in her home, October 17, 2017, after a debilitating hospital stay... She was born January 29, 1934 in Covington, KY to Thomas Robert and Norma Rose Warman.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, John H. Pope, Jr.; three sons, John, David, and Daniel; two daughters, Phyllis Walden and Rebecca Webb; 5 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; two sisters, Jean Knapke and Jerry Warman. She is preceded in death by her father, mother, and daughter, Judy Sturgeon.
As the oldest of three sisters, she helped her mom raise her two younger siblings while her Aunt Ceil, Uncle Rich, and cousin Mary Jewell were an important part of her young life... She started working at an early age to help support her family while still attending Catholic school. At the age of 15, she became the head wedding cake designer & baker at a bakery in Covington, Kentucky. After high school, she married the love of her life, raising a family of six while her husband’s career in the Air Force sent them on a new adventure every four years—Hawaii and Alaska being her two favorites. During parent-teacher conferences after they had moved from Hawaii to Florida, the teachers asked her, “Didn’t they teach your children anything in Hawaii?” And she replied, “Yes, they taught them to be happy.”
She had a career in the Civil Service working a variety of challenging jobs; in her final position before retirement, they attempted to move her up to an administrative supervisor position in the hospital where she worked, and she told them, “No thanks, I’m happy with my job.”
Some of the things that helped define who she was—were going to Mass with her husband for many years, praying, art and music, cooking and baking, traveling and being her husband’s co-pilot, reading several books a week, and a heartfelt passion for Christmas, family Sunday dinners, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beloved family pets. She had an endearing habit of always trying to be as helpful (and never hurtful) as she could. She unconditionally loved her husband and family, and she gave everything of herself, everyday of her life...
During her twilight years, her health and mobility declined from falls and hospital stays, yet with hard work, she was always able to make a recovery. A fall last year had kept her bedridden, yet she still maintained a positive outlook, learning to find pleasure in even the simplest things in life—afternoon coffee, mealtime, sunsets, moonlit nights, music, word puzzles, writing notes, her HD 8 tablet, reading her prayer book... Her caregiver stated, “She was so easy to care for, so appreciative, and such a joy to be around.” After a years worth of therapy and much hard work, she was excited about being just weeks away from being mobile again, when therapy re-fractured her leg, a setback she never recovered from....
Graveside services will be held at Our Lady of “the Assumption” Catholic Cemetery, Silver Cliff, CO, with Father John Farley presiding, Friday, November 10th, sometime after 1:00 PM.
Flowers and condolences may be sent to Harwood Funeral Home, 225 E. Main Street, Florence, CO 81226.