Joseph William Pope

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Joseph William Pope, 86, of Kingsport, Tenn., died Saturday, May 17, 2014, after a long illness.
Joe was one of nine children and was born in 1927 in Sabraton, W.Va., to Hungarian parents who immigrated through Ellis Island. High school class president, Joe left to join the U.S. Merchant Marines and was aboard the ship carrying troops for the invasion of Japan. Following WWII, he attended Milligan College on a football scholarship, East Tennessee State University, and later the University of Tennessee Dental School at Memphis. He worked his way through college at the Elizabethton Star Newspaper and later for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. Upon graduation from dental school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a Captain and returned to Elizabethton, Tenn., to practice general dentistry with Dr. A.E. Miller Sr.
He met and married Leslie Parks Pope of Johnson City. Returning to military service, Captain Pope headed up the dental clinic at Fort Stewart, Ga., and later retired as a full Colonel. He went on to receive his Masters of Periodontics from Loyola University in Chicago.
Again, returning to the mountains of Northeast Tennessee, Joe practiced periodontics for 34 years in Kingsport. Following retirement, he become an accomplished landscape artist, was a lifelong member of the Retired Officers Association, Rotary Club where for many years was Sunshine Chairman, but he was most proud to be the President of the Parents Teachers Association for Washington Elementary School in Kingsport.
He is survived by his wife, Leslie; son, Charles Parks Pope of Johnson City; daughters, Anne Breier Pope of Nashville and Sarah Grier Pope of Houston, Texas; grandchildren, Ansley Elizabeth, Mary Alice and William Grier Pope; brother, Zoltan Pope of New Jersey; along with several nieces, nephews and many friends.
A memorial service was held on Monday at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Kingsport. The family received friends following the service. A military graveside service was held on Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. at Mountain Home National Cemetery in Mountain Home, Tenn. Honorary pallbearers include David Bautista, Russell Brackens, Dr. A.E. Miller, John Parks, Bill Ring, H.M. Rogers and Ron Conkin. Special thanks to Dr. Christopher Neglia and R.N. Grace Welch for their extraordinary and loving care at Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital. Memorial contributions can be made to Friends in Need, 1105 W. Stone Drive, Kingsport, TN 37660 or to ETSU Foundation, P.O. Box 70712, Johnson City, TN 37614. Please visit to leave an on-line condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the family of Joseph William Pope.

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