Virginia Lee PopeJune 17, 1926 ~ January 13, 2018 (age 91)
Virginia Lee Shelley Pope, 91, died Saturday, January 13, 2018 in Amarillo, Texas. She was born June 17, 1926 to Jewel (Broumley) Shelley in Blum, Texas. She was a long-time resident of Dallas, Texas.
A Memorial Service will be February 3, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary Catholic Cathedral Chapel, 1200 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79101. An Inurnment service will be in Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Park, Dallas, Texas 75211 in Spring 2018.
She graduated from Blum High School in 1946 and immediately got on a Greyhound Bus and enrolled in a secretarial business program. Once she could type 40 words a minute, she applied and obtained her first job at Metro-Wynn-Mayer Movie Studio in downtown Dallas. She thought she’d meet a lot of movie stars but as it turned out, there was a no-fraternizing clause and the biggest perk was getting to see all the movie screenings before their release date. She watched Channel 60, TCM: Turner Classic Movies every day. She could name every single famous star from the 40s. Coming in a close second after movies were Wheel of Fortune and Pawn Shop. She recognized ancient farm tools and old cars. Her Uncle Edgar was a back-yard mechanic and as a little girl she listened to his many stories of makes and models.
In 1947 she met and married a handsome naval aviator (Think Top Gun) Edward Allen Pope and their union lasted 61 years. They had two children and as soon as the youngest left home, she became a receptionist at Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas. After 60 years in Dallas, they moved to Amarillo in 2008. For the past five years she has resided at Harrington Assisted Living.
At first, she thought Amarillo, Texas was small. But later, she admitted it wasn’t THAT small and she loved it—with a few exceptions: cold, really cold, weather and the issue of ‘wind’. When it was slightly windy, perhaps 15 miles an hour, she said, “I guess you call this a breeze?” She finally relented and declared that Amarillo’s bad-weather reputation was worse than its reality; and, what made it really great were the people. She never saw a baby that she didn’t stop to admire or a thrift shop where she didn’t stop to shop. Two little dogs, Pep and Bro, stole her heart. She called them ‘my boys’ and never minded their enthusiastic kisses.
She was, at heart, a caregiver. Her strongest suit was ‘helping’ whomever, however, whenever. Often this turned into preparing meals, running errands for those who couldn’t, volunteering at church or at the schools her children attended. This penchant for helping resulted in her finally getting a driver’s license in 1957. The first family car was a Ford Fairlane. She never had a wreck and she never drove on a freeway.
She had many gifts, but two stand out: her fabulous cooking and her unique ability to never-meet anything she couldn’t fix. She knew every home remedy, old-school method to mend anything broken and how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Vinegar and baking soda mixed into a paste took scratches off of metal and cleaned corroded plumbing, gargling warm salt water soothed a sore throat, and you could renew an old garment with different buttons, a changed collar or cuffs. Creativity and a can-do attitude were her special hallmarks of a Proverbs 31 Woman: her worth is far above jewels…and, she works with her hands in delight. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. “
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Allen Pope and her son, Joseph Allen Pope; and three siblings, Hansel Shelley, Nadine Krone, and Pearline Shelley.
She is survived by Julia Ann McBee, sister; Janace Pope Ponder, daughter, and her husband David; Debby Pope King, daughter-in-law and her husband Mike. She also leaves behind the ones who called her Grandma: four grandchildren: Ashlee Paige Ponder Erb, Abby Ponder Mitchell, Carmen Pope Juckett and Courtney Pope; and ten great-grandchildren: Michael Clouse, Peyton Garmon, Madison Walker, Shelby Garmon; Kaylee, Westley, Sydney and Lizzie Mitchell; Jacob and Jessica Juckett.
Holding a special place in her heart were nieces and nephews, Judy Krone Smith, Rick Krone, Ted Krone, Jill Cione, Mary Ann and Mark McBee, Holly Pope Nye and Clinton Pope, and many other great-nieces and nephews, special cousins, other family members and friends whom she loved dearly.
The family suggest memorials be to St. Mary’s Stephen Ministry, 1200 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79101 or to Downtown Women’s Center, 409 S. Monroe, Amarillo, Texas 79101.