Elbert Hugh Pope Sr.
February 3, 1925 – May 3, 2020
Elbert Hugh Pope, Sr., age 95, formerly of Conover, entered the Church Triumphant on May 3, 2020, at the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Black Mountain, NC.
Born in Catawba County on February 3, 1925, he was the first born son of George Raymond Pope and Alice Annie Little Pope.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Joyce Inez Hollar Pope. Also preceding him in death were his two sisters: Hilma Pope Deal and Mildred Pope Deal. Elbert and Joyce met through her cousins, Cloyd Propst and Ralph Bowman, during a Sunday afternoon visit to her Grandmother Ida Bowman’s house. It was the beginning of their story of lifelong and abiding love.
He is also survived by his three children: Melanie Joy Pope Smith of Swannanoa; Angela Faith Steiblin-Pope of Riehen, Switzerland; and Elbert Hugh Pope, Jr. of Chattanooga. He leaves behind two granddaughters: Morgan Inez Smith of Lincolnton and Caroline Marie-Inez Steiblin of Riehen, Switzerland.
In addition, he is survived by a brother, George Ray Pope and two sisters-in-law: Barbara White and Annette Hollar, all of the Hickory area.
Elbert was a proud veteran of World War II having served as a medical aidman in the US Army during the Normandy Invasion. Corporal Pope served his country with General George Patton’s Third Army in the 90th Replacement Division. He received the American Campaign Medal with five bronze service stars, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and the Liberty Medal. In 2005, he was presented the “Normandy Medal of the Jubilee of Liberty” for his service in liberating the people of France. This medal was presented to veterans of the NC 10th Congressional District who stormed the beaches of Normandy during Operation Overlord. Congressman Cass Ballenger presented the medal. Elbert was indeed a member of our country’s greatest generation.
The tag on his pickup truck read “D-Day+6” in remembrance of the day his boots touched Omaha Beach. On June 6, 2019, he was honored by the NC State Veterans Home on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. He was a proud member of The American Legion and was a member of Post 48 in Hickory.
Elbert enjoyed many things in his long and fulfilling life. He was a world traveler and never met a stranger. He collected small rocks from each state and country that he visited. These small treasures were passed along to the children in the Sunday School class he taught at St. Peters Lutheran Church (LCMS). He met Conley Fox, his best friend, when he was a young boy and they enjoyed many adventures during their lives. The two of them traveled together in 2011 to visit the World War II Memorial as part of the Honor Air program.
He graduated from Sweetwater Elementary School in 1939 and was a member of the graduating class of St. Stephens High School in 1943.
He joined St. Peters Lutheran Church (LCMS) after he married. One of the great joys of his life was teaching Sunday School and sharing his faith with the youth of the congregation. In 1981 he was presented with the “Sunday School Teacher of the Year” award. He loved to sing and his voice was heard almost every Sunday from the front row of the church.
He had a great sense of pride in his profession as a home builder and was an early member of the Catawba Valley Homebuilders Association. Over the years, there were many times when he said the words “Dad and I built that house.” His children recall that his pickup truck always smelled of sawdust. He was a hard worker and a great provider for his family. He was proud of the custom work that he provided his customers. Many of them were repeat customers. Three generations of the Floyd Gantt family, in the St. Peters community, enjoyed homes that he built.
He was a passionate NASCAR fan. He cheered for the Ford drivers, and with good humor, cheered against the Chevrolet drivers. He attended NASCAR races at many speedways, but his favorite race was the Daytona 500. One of the favorite memories of his family is the story of him teaching the mother of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in Sunday School.
There will be a drop-in receiving of friends from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at the Drum Funeral Home Chapel in Conover, NC.
A private burial will be held at a later date at St. Peters Lutheran Church cemetery, with Rev. Kevin Graudin officiating. The American flag will drape Elbert’s coffin. His longtime request was that red roses from his children will be the only flowers at the service.
The family asks that you consider a contribution in his memory to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 6175 St. Peters Ch. Rd., Conover, NC 28613, or Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.
Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 403 Conover, NC 28613.
The Pope family has entrused funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Conover, NC.
Receiving of Friends
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Elbert Hugh Pope Sr.
May 8, 2020
Angela and family please know your in my thoughts and prayers! I enjoyed seeing your Dad for many years at the Dentist office. He always brought a smile to my face when he came in. May God give you comfort in the great memories he has left with you!
May 7, 2020
Mr. Pope was a great asset to the St. Stephen's High community. He always had a smile and treated people with respect. A real gentleman.
Dallas and Linda Ross
May 7, 2020
Always a true southern gentleman with a smile on his face
May 6, 2020
So sorry for your loss. He was always a pleasure to talk with. Always shared stories with me and my sister.