Marion Howard Pope, 92, of King City passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his devoted family, on Sunday, November 25, 2012.
Marion is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Patricia; and his five beloved children, Susan (Ken), Linda (Dave), Dennis (Marsha), Laurie (Daymond) and Leslie (Frank); 12 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
A true gentleman to the core, Mr. Pope was born on January 17, 1920 in Ingold, N.C. to Jasper and Bessie Pope and he was one of 10 children raised on a farm near Clinton, N.C.
After attending schools in Ingold, he graduated from Ingold High School in 1939 and worked for several years on the farm and at Belk’s Department Store. Mr. Pope enlisted in the Navy in June of 1942, and proudly served during World War II in Hawaii, the Marshall Islands and numerous United States posts. After being assigned to King City’s Mesa Del Rey Airport in the summer of 1945, he met Patricia Hayes at the local King City swimming pool and complimented her on her suntan. His flattery was obviously effective, as they married January 12, 1946 in St. John’s Chapel in Monterey.
He began his career of working as a painting contractor for 40 years after being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946, and raised his family of five children in King City. Mr. Pope believed in giving back to his community throughout his almost 93 years of life. He was very involved, volunteering for many different organizations including Boy Scouts, Little League, Lions Club, MCARLM, Mee Memorial Hospital Foundation, and performed his civic duty by serving eight years on the planning commission and four years as a city councilman. He was also a member of Chamber of Commerce and Grace Lutheran Church, where he graciously gave of his time and talents. As a Lions Club Lifetime Member and past president, Mr. Pope successfully collaborated with Colonel Johnson to construct the heliport at Mee Memorial Hospital. “This is by far the most important of the club’s achievements,” said Pope at the time. “It will be involved in saving lives and assisting in providing the best of medical care in the shortest time possible.”
“I have known Marion for about 55 years,” said Norm Nuck, longtime friend and fellow Lion. “He is a senior member of the Lions Club and held most of the offices in the club. This is a big loss to the Lions and an even bigger loss to the community he held so dear. He will be missed.”
Marion and Pat both enjoyed and shared a love of travel, visiting Japan, Finland, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, Hawaii and Germany. He loved to read, barbecue, and garden and spend precious time with his family. He was an avid sports fan especially for the San Francisco Giants and University of North Carolina basketball teams. Mr. Pope shared the fruits of his labor with neighbors in the form of fruits, vegetables and flowers he lovingly tended to in his home garden. He was devoted to wife Pat for more than 66 years, and the couple clung very strongly to their faith. Mr. Pope never knew a stranger and was kind and generous to everyone he encountered.
The Popes were named Citizens of the Year in 1997 and Marion was the Grand Marshal of the 2007 July Fourth Valley Heritage Day Parade Mr. Pope also started the annual Mee Memorial Hospital Golf Tournament in 1988 and as councilman was involved in the City Park renovation with new Stampede Grounds, tennis courts and racquetball courts, and upgrading the King City Pool and Mesa del Rey Airport.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Grace Lutheran Church in King City, where Mr. Pope has been a member since 1981 and a past Church Council Trustee.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Mee Memorial Hospital Foundation, 300 Canal Street, King City, CA 93930; Grace Lutheran Church, 205 Canal Street, King City, CA 93930; or VNA King City Branch, 200 Broadway, Suite 78, King City, CA 93930. Arrangements have been entrusted to Eddington Funeral Services, 333 East San Antonio Dr., King City, 831-385-5400, www.efscares.com.
He was a man of great integrity and honor, and there will definitely be a void not only to his beloved family members, but to his beloved community as well.