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Retired USAF Hospital Sgt Major, CMSgt, John Harold Pope, Jr., 87, of Penrose, Colorado, passed away peacefully at home, June 7th, 2019, after having bravely fought a long, dignified battle against Alzheimer's Disease... He was born December 4, 1931, in Erlanger, Kentucky, to John Harold Pope, Sr. and Mildred (Leisl) Pope.
He is survived by three sons, John, David, and Daniel; two daughters, Phyllis Walden, and Rebecca Webb; 5 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Mary Joan (Warman) Pope; daughter, Judy Sturgeon; 5 sisters, Mildred Patricia Miller, Nancy Sims, Mary Ann Sears, Bonnie Keith, Sandra Pope; 1 brother, Michael Pope; and his father & mother.
He was raised in Erlanger, KY, served Mass as an alter boy for 12 years, lettered in basketball, and graduated from St Henry; joined the USAF, married the Love of his life and raised 6 children, while serving his country sent them on a new adventure every 4 years; during this busy time he attended college, became a certified scuba diver, earned his commercial pilot's license and became a highly skilled Alaska Bush Pilot. After retiring from the USAF, he became a flight/ground school instructor while logging several thousand hours as a commercial pilot.
Some of the activities he enjoyed were eating favorite foods & snacking on candy; playing golf, traveling, camping, exploring, rockhounding; snowmobiling, boating, fishing, hunting; DIY, carpentry, woodworking & crafts; gardening, farming, ranching; music, singing, astronomy, photography, reading, writing, and story telling; attending Mass with his wife for many years, volunteering, and he was a longtime volunteer at the Holy Cross Abbey and their American Indian Museum...
He had an enduring strength, a heart of gold, an everlasting Love for God, Church, Country, his wife and family, beloved family pets, and he tried to do something worthwhile everyday of his life...
Once while traveling, they stopped at a rest area to eat lunch, and noticed a broken down traveler working on his car; John asked if he needed any help, and he said, “No. I have all the parts I need here.” Mary fixed him lunch, and they learned the traveler was heading home after being away several years... As they were leaving, John handed the traveler a handful of cash and said, “I hope this helps you get home.”
On June 7th, it was Dear John's turn for going home... Gone Home.
Graveside services were held at Our Lady of “the Assumption” Catholic Cemetery, Silver Cliff, CO, with Father Stephen Injoalu presiding, Wednesday, June 12th, at 2:00 PM with services under the direction of Harwood Funeral Home.