Suzette Stanley Pope
September 15, 1925 – June 2, 2019
Suzette Stanley Pope September 15,1925 – June 2, 2019
“Did you know everyone smiles in the same language?” You did if you ever called Suzette Pope’s home phone, because that question was at the end of her outgoing message on the answering machine. And outgoing she was. She served in numerous leadership positions, travelled internationally, and touched countless lives. Suzette passed away on the evening of June 2, 2019, after a brief illness. She is survived by two children (Stephanie Pope Fisher of Kingwood, TX and Brent Pope of Daphne, AL), six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son (Rodney, d. 1960) and her husband (Norelle, d. 1996).
One of five children, Suzette was born just outside the south Alabama town of Florala. After graduating high school from Central High in Phenix City, AL, she studied and traveled and worked, eventually winding up in Miami, Florida, where she would meet her future husband, Norelle Pope of Columbia, South Carolina. The happy couple married and settled down in Miami, where Suzette raised a family and began a long and successful career in accounting.
Apart from her family, she had three passions that are especially worth noting.
She was a pioneer in promoting the value, potential, and contribution that women can make in the workplace, rising to prominence as Chief Accountant for the Dade County School Board—then the fifth largest school system in the country. She forged a path in a world dominated by males and refused to leave other women behind, mentoring many as they fought the status quo and cracked, dented, and shattered the gender ceiling, both in business and leadership.
She also had a passion for the elderly, which may have begun when she cared for her own aging mother, Vashti Stanley, before passing away years ago. Suzette was involved in the Council on Aging, the Alliance on Aging, and served as Executive Director for Bay Oaks Home for the Aged, championing the care and dignity of the elderly for many years.
Finally, she loved to travel, visiting all seven continents and well over 90 countries, many multiple times, including China, Iceland, and Antarctica (yes, Antarctica!). Her commitment to missions coincided with this passion for traveling and on several occasions, she visited missionaries whom she had supported financially. And at the ripe old age of 79, she even went on a two-week safari in Africa.
Suzette participated in or was affiliated with more than 40 organizations like Phi Lambda Pi, Soroptimist International, the Association of School Business Officials, the American Association of University Women, and more, where she served in various capacities including board member, chaplain, treasurer, and president. On a more intimate scale, she was actively involved with her fellow residents at the senior apartment facility where she lived, and in her Sunday School class before that. Her death leaves a gap in the hearts and boardrooms and living rooms of those who knew and loved her. A memorial service will be held next month in Coral Gables, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Suzette’s memory with a gift to the International Mission Board (https://give.imb.org/) or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/give.html).
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Suzette Stanley Pope
June 4, 2019
Stephanie and family. I remember Stephanie how I found you on facebook. How excited I was that I found someone from my childhood. How we grew up as kids at Flagler Street Baptist Church. How my parent's Archie and Jane Cribbs knew both your parents. I was so sorry to here about your mom. O but what a greeting she received in heaven. I know you will miss her but she will always live close in your heart. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Love you.