James F. 'Jim' Pope

Posted: Friday, December 05, 2008

Longtime Alaska resident James F. "Jim" Pope died Friday, Nov. 28, 2008, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 80.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the Pope family plot at Kohlerlawn Cemetery in Nampa, Idaho.

Mr. Pope was born on April 27, 1928, in Meridian, Idaho, one of nine brothers and sisters. He attended Fairbanks High School and worked for Alaska Airlines during his high school years in the mid 1940s. He enlisted with the Air Force at the age of 18 in 1946 and served with the Air Force until 1949. In 1949, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. He graduated from the Academy in 1953 with a degree in engineering.

Following his graduation from the Naval Academy, he served with the Navy until his retirement from the military in 1966. While in the Navy, he served at a number of naval installations along the West Coast, as well as a tour in Japan in 1960. He successfully completed a number of post-graduate officer and training courses in the Navy and received a number of decorations and commendations during his military service.

After his retirement from the Navy as the result of a life-changing injury, Mr. Pope was cared for by his sister Helen for many years. During this time, he traveled extensively with family and friends in the United States and abroad, including trips to Germany, Belgium, England and Australia.

Mr. Pope and Helen permanently relocated to Soldotna in 1990. He enjoyed reading and learning about a wide variety of subjects, including history, geography, military affairs, science and politics.

"His son and daughter fondly remember attending his 40th class reunion at Annapolis with Jim and Helen in 1993, which provided an opportunity to learn more about their father's military career and time spent at the Academy. Always with a smile on his face, he enjoyed spending time and conversing with many visitors at his home in Soldotna, as well as spending time with friends and acquaintances at the senior centers, restaurants and churches in the Soldotna-Kenai area," his family said.

Mr. Pope was preceded in death by his brothers, Fred and Dick Pope; and sisters, Grace, Helen and Ann Pope.

He is survived by his children, Leslie Pope of Shelton, Wash., and Brian Pope and his wife, Vicki, of Eagle, Colo.; granddaughters, Hailey and Danielle; sisters, Pat Cook of Fairbanks and Edna Duffield of Sacramento, Calif.; brother, Tom Pope of Boise, Idaho; and numerous nieces and nephews in Alaska and the Western United States.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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