Thelma Lois Pope, 98, passed away April 2, 2019, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, Kansas. She was the daughter of Clifford Leroy Coon and Laura Belle (Regnier) Coon. She was born June 3, 1920, in a rock farm house near Zeandale, Kansas. She was the youngest of 10 children. Some of her fondest memories as a child were playing on the farm with her niece Lauraine McCormick and riding to Wamego with her father in a horse-drawn wagon to sell eggs and milk. On a lucky day, she might get a piece of horehound candy. Wamego was where she saw her first motion picture at the Columbian Theatre, a silent shoot-m-up starring Tom Mix. The “violent” scenes scared the sheltered farm girl so much she had to leave before the movie ended. Her older brothers were not happy.
Thelma was educated in a one-room school house in Wabaunsee until the age of 12 when she moved to Topeka to live with two older sisters. In Topeka, she attended Lincoln Junior High, where she met her future husband Raymond, and Topeka High graduating in 1938. One of her greatest fears and source of recurring nightmares was getting lost in the big city schools. On September 2, 1939, she and Raymond eloped to Atchison to get married in the courthouse. She always joked that her marriage started World War 2. She spent the war years raising her first son and visiting her Marine Corps husband in southern California prior to his departure for the western Pacific and ultimate battle for Okinawa. Thelma and Raymond spent their entire lives in Topeka raising sons Danny and Larry “Mike”, visiting and entertaining friends and relatives, and following KU and Washburn basketball.
Thelma was preceded in death by Raymond on August 4, 1990; brothers Walter, Lloyd, Lawrence, Lester, and Harold; sisters Gertrude, Alberta, Florence, and Edna; grandsons Brody Pope and Bowen Pope. She is survived by sons Danny (Janis) and Mike (Diane); grandchildren Nathan Pope (Michelle), Gannon Mooney (Jen), Tara Sander (Chuck), Tisha Schloctermeier (Dan); great-grandchildren Ashlyn Pope, Joshua Pope, Jax Mooney, Drew Mooney, Whitt Mooney, Aryn Sander, Zachary Sander; great-great-grandchild Paisley Sander; and many nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Ceremony will be 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Mount Hope Cemetery & Funeral Chapel, 4700 SW 17th St., Topeka. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery & Funeral Chapel, in Topeka. Memorial contributions may be made to Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, 1429 Kasold Dr, Lawrence, KS 66049 or to Midland Care 200 SW Frazier Circle Topeka, KS 66606.
Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town is assisting the family. To leave a message for them online, please click the “Share Memories” button above.