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Alan J. Pope Sr.
Veteran
Alan J. Pope Sr.

Alan J. Pope Sr.

May 27, 2018

Alan Joseph Pope, Sr.

July 17, 1939 – May 27, 2018

Early on the morning of Sunday, May 27th, 2018, Alan Joseph Pope, Sr., beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother, known as “Butch” to many of his dear family and friends, crossed over the horizon and beyond this world. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Alan will be missed by his wife Carol Pope (née Osuch), his children Tammra Ann Keikinohopono Wilson (David Wilson), Alan Joseph (Joe), Jr. (Lisa), Robert (Kathrine Mero-Pope), Daniel (Adelia), Sheri Mealy, Jessica Kalagher (Sean), Andrew (Jeanette), his stepdaughter Amy Casey (Michael), his stepson Asa Wilke (Megumi), and his siblings Joan Reid, Thomas, Larry, Susan Ross, Leonard, Elmyra Lannigan, John, Kathryn Pope-Strohmeyer, as well as 23 grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and many others who loved him in life.

Born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Leonard and Gwendolyn (née Jordan) Pope on July 17, 1939, the sixth of eight children, Alan’s life began in hardship. His mother and youngest brother tragically died in childbirth when he was just two years old, compounding the earlier death of an older brother, and his father shipped-out overseas to serve in WWII. The children were a wild and mischievous bunch, by all accounts, and they endured by the grace of their wits, their pluck, and not least the care and concern of their family and neighbors. In later years, family parties and reunions would ring with Alan and his siblings’ laughter as they relived tales of adventure and misadventure, grit and ingenuity. Many of these memories are chronicled in Alan’s “A Short History of the Pope Family” and his brother Larry’s longer memoir “Shawtown Stories.”

Alan joined the Navy at age 17. He traveled the Pacific on the destroyer U.S.S. Walker finding his way eventually to Hawaii, where he had a brief marriage with Jennie Leialoha Alanano. After their divorce and an honorable discharge from the Navy, Alan returned to the Midwest, where he met and married his second wife, Levada (née Jones). Together, they moved their young family from the outskirts of a volatile Chicago to the farmlands and wilderness of northern Wisconsin. In the fall of 1979, a freak fire consumed their home, and a few months later the family narrowly escaped another blaze in their small cottage on the same property. The marriage ended in divorce eight years later.

After some time, Alan began a relationship with the woman who would become the great love in his life. He and Carol married and lived in Ashland, where they raised their younger children, and dedicated much of their leisure time to sailing trips in Lake Superior. They began buying and renovating properties in the area and finally moved to Southern California where they found success with this enterprise. For years, Alan and Carol split time between their home in San Diego, California and their Bloomer, Wisconsin lake house, with frequent visits to family around the country.

Alan had a gift for working with his hands, building and renovating homes, repairing cars, bicycles, and machines of all kinds. He invented and patented the design for a high-efficiency wood-burning stove and started the Penokee Wood Stove company with a friend. Alan possessed a remarkable facility in a vast array of specialized skills, all of which he taught himself. An autodidact in his intellectual pursuits as well, he read the classics of literature and often impressed those who knew him with his deep knowledge of world history, the great thinkers, and the cultures of the ancient world. This avid curiosity fueled his many travels with Carol in Europe, Asia, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East. Hawaii became an important destination again after Alan reconnected with his first child, Tammy.

For his family and friends, Alan became a center of gravity. He and Carol made their Bloomer home a hub for family events, reunions, and spontaneous gatherings, and they kept an open invitation for family to visit in San Diego. A guiding principle in Alan’s life was being of service to others in great and small ways, helping his children and others work through life’s setbacks and providing vital guidance and resources at decisive moments in their lives.

He was a man of laconic charisma. Beneath his frank, modest demeanor burned a quiet strength and a dauntless determination. Alan will be remembered especially for his distinctive brand of wry humor, his inventive wordplay, and his singular flashes of wit. In this and other ways, his life has touched so many others, and his loss will be tempered with gratitude and happy memories of our time with him.

In lieu of flowers, Alan’s family requests donations be made to:

Cancer Research Institute (www.cancerresearch.org)

National Foundation for Cancer Research (www.nfcr.org)

A Celebration of Life will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018, at Schriver-Thompson Funeral Home in Bloomer. A gathering will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Schriver-Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services of Bloomer is serving the family.


Visitation

One hour prior to the celebration at the funeral home

Service

Friday, June 1, 2018, at 5 p.m. at the funeral home.

Condolences

  • thomas r kreuzer You spend three and half years on ship you get to know some of your shipmates real well. A.J. was one of the best whether on or off the ship. We had really great times visiting all the different ports. Reading that wonderful obituary I was brought to tears thinking of all the good times and what a unique person A.J. was in my life and how lucky I was to be able to share in his life. To you Carol and your family you have my deepest heartfelt sympathy.

    May 31 at 2:02pm

  • Joanne and Don Bowers Carol & Amy - offering our condolences to you and your families. So sorry to hear of your loss.

    May 31 at 10:13am

  • Gene Campbell Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Carol. Alan was a good friend in every sense of the word a good man. One of a kind. I am a better man for having known him I know he will be missed by many.

    May 30 at 6:32pm

  • Hurston Dodgen So sorry to hear about the passing of AJ, a great former shipmate and friend. Carol and the family are in our prayers.

    May 30 at 8:34AM

  • Linda Fisher This obituary is the most beautiful tribute to our dear Alan. It captures his life and spirit so perfectly. We were blessed to have him part of our family and will cherish the wonderful times we shared. It was just weeks ago that Alan and Carol shared Easter brunch at my home in California, and he was in great form as usual. I'll remember that lovely day for a very long time.

    May God bless Alan always and send comfort to my dear sister, Carol, and the entire Pope family.

    With heartfelt sympathy and much love,
    Linda Fisher

    May 29 at 8:43PM

  • Ellie Williams What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. Glad to have known Al, if only for a short period in his interesting life. Sending condolences from the town of Lincoln to his family and friends. May his spirit continue to be reflected in his children and grandchildren for many years to come!

    May 29 at 8:25PM

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