Patricia Annette (Jones) Pope transitioned from life on May 8th, 2021, at the age of 81. Pat was born on April 25th, 1940, in Gilmer, Texas, to Harmon Woodrow and Troy (Lansdale) Jones. She grew up and attended public schools in New Boston, Texas, and subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas Woman’s University, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of North Texas, and a doctor’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M Commerce. Pat married Harlyn Don Pope on August 12th, 1961. During their 45-year marriage, they resided in Gainesville, Texas; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Stillwater, Oklahoma; and Commerce, Texas. Following Don’s death in 2006, Pat moved to North Richland Hills, Texas, to be near family.
Public education was not only Dr. Pope’s chosen profession but her passion as well. 23 of her 30 years in public education were spent with the Commerce Independent School District which she joined in 1972 as a guidance counselor. In 1980, she was named assistant superintendent, and in 1986, she was appointed superintendent of schools and held that position until her retirement in 1994. In 1988, she was named Texas Administrator of the Year by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. She was active in numerous professional organizations and heavily involved in community activities including Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. During her tenure as Chamber President, she initiated the Commerce Leadership Institute which has enhanced the leadership skills of over 500 Commerce residents. She was also an active member of the Commerce Church of Christ for 36 years.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her sons, Darryn Pope of Hurst, Texas, and Derryk Pope (Melanie) of Katy, Texas. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Camryn and Ryan of Hurst and Tanner, Dawson, Hayden, and Bennett of Katy. Other survivors are sister Judy King (Bowen) and brother-in-law, David Pope.
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, May 14, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Commerce Funeral Home. A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, at 1:00 pm at Commerce Church of Christ. Burial will be at Brigham Cemetery in Campbell, Texas. Pallbearers will be her six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Commerce Church of Christ Building Fund, Box 611, Commerce, Texas 75429 or to the Commerce High School Scholarship Fund, 3315 Washington St., Commerce, Texas 75428.
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