Ray Merle Pope, age 71, of Paola, Kansas, passed away February 21, 2017 at Olathe Hospice House
Ray, the second of six children, was born August 19, 1945 at the White House Nursing Home (where Dr. delivered babies) to Earl and Elsie (Brandt) Pope. The family moved to Twin Falls, Idaho when he was small and back to rural Ottawa, Kansas when he was 5. He attended rural grade schools and graduated from Ottawa High School in 1963. Ray attended a semester each at K-State and Ottawa University.
Ray worked helping neighbors haul hay and worked at the Cheney grocery store in Ottawa while in high school. He worked for the State Highway Department. Ray started working for what is now Taylor Forge Engineered Systems in June 1964 and worked there for more than 51 years, retiring March 31, 2015. He was a member of Boilermaker Union in which he was secretary treasurer for 20 years.
Ray married his high school sweetheart, Carol Clark on August 8, 1965 in Ottawa, Kansas. They were married 51 years and lived in Miami County their whole married life. They were blessed with three children, Carrie, Russell and Larry.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church of Paola for 51 years and was an assistant youth director for 4 years.
Ray enjoyed family time with his brothers, sisters, kids, and grandkids. He loved to fish, hunt and watch his grandchildren in activities. He also enjoyed camping, boating, and traveling with his wife. Ray was quiet in nature, but ornery until the end. He maintained his compassion for others and his strong belief in Jesus Christ.
Ray is survived by his wife Carol; his children and their families: Carrie and Jim Vredenburg, sons Josh, Zach, Alex and Caleb; Russell and Leslie Pope, daughters Morgan and Travis Marsh and son Gentry, Makayla, Madison and sons Brantley and Braxton, and Hailey; Larry and Julie Pope, children Kylie, Connor and Collin; mother Elsie Pope; sisters Betty Fincher, Sharon and Merritt Musick, Connie and Bill Miller; brothers Rex and Norma Pope, Dean and Cathy Pope and thirteen nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to Olathe Hospice, First Lutheran Church Youth Group, or Miami County Cancer Foundation.
To share a special memory of Ray or to share a special condolence message for his family, please click the Share Memories tab.