Robert Edward “Bob” Pope, 82, passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Atlanta on Oct. 3, 2019, surrounded by his family. Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Jerry Lynn Elliott Pope; his son, Sam Elliott Pope; and his parents, George Pope and Lillian Elizabeth Kiernan Pope. He is survived by his daughter, Erin Pope Yabroudy, his son-in-law, Ron Yabroudy, and his four grandchildren, Olivia (19), Sarah Grace (Pinky) (17), Thomas (14), and Lucy (9) of Atlanta.
Bob married Jerry Lynn Elliott of Decatur on Feb. 26, 1966 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta. It was at All Saints where they met many friends, including Mary and Harvey Brickley, Jim and Elizabeth Stout and Carolyn and Larry Walker, with whom they would remain close throughout their lives. The couple lived briefly in Atlanta before moving to Athens, Georgia where they would start a family. Bob grew up in Atlanta’s Techwood Homes where he made lifelong friends and learned many valuable lessons. Raised in the Catholic Church, he attended the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for church and school from kindergarten through sixth grade, later moving to Marist for seventh and eighth grade. He attended O’Keefe High School until he read an article about the Westminster Schools. He was so captivated by the philosophy and mission of the school that he hitchhiked across town to the campus and, unannounced, rang the doorbell of then-headmaster, Dr. William Pressly. The housekeeper informed him that Dr. Pressly was having dinner with his wife and asked him to return another time. However, a bit presumptuously, he told her that he would be happy to wait. She offered him a plate of food, which he gladly accepted. When he finally got an audience with Dr. Pressly, Bob was able to convince him to extend a football scholarship. With great anticipation, he prepared for the season and the opportunity to attend this new school. However, he broke his leg in the first play of the first game of the season, and upon finding out that it would take him several years to make up the credits he was lacking, he elected to return to and graduate from O’Keefe. Due to the generosity of a close family friend (“Uncle” Jack Frost of Palm Beach, Florida), he was able to attend the University of Miami where he pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He transferred to Emory after his first year and affiliated with the SAE chapter there. He enjoyed many good times with his fraternity brothers, maybe so many that he had to transfer again and ultimately graduate from Georgia State.
He began his career as a salesman at the legendary Zachary’s Men’s Store in downtown Atlanta. There he honed his skills for what would later become a lifetime of sales with companies such as John Hancock, Erin Enterprises and the Greenland Expedition. His favorite avocation was serving as the University of Georgia’s team cameraman for more than 20 years. He traveled with the team and never missed a game through the Vince Dooley coaching era and the Ray Goff years. He took his family to bowl games around the country, including the Sugar Bowl when the 1980 team won the National Championship. One of his greatest accomplishments was building the Sam Elliott Pope Memorial Chapel at Paradise Ranch in Buffalo. This was a labor of love, helped along by the support of myriad family and friends. He enjoyed working on his property outside Athens, spending time with his family, reading, writing letters, watching old movies, and caring for his cat.
A service of thanksgiving and celebration of life will be held in Mikell Chapel at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta at 10 a.m. Oct.10 followed by a reception at the church in the Court of Gratitude. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the chapel in Buffalo where his ashes will be laid to rest. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alpha Eta Education Foundation of AGR and designated to the Sam Elliott Pope Scholarship at the University of Georgia (5620 Wildcat Bridge Road Royston, GA 30662) or to your local Humane Society.