Pope remembered for his legacy of serving

A beloved Barbourville businessman and community leader has passed away.
Russell Lee Pope, 90, owner and operator of Pope Lumber Company, established in 1946, passed away Saturday, Dec. 30 at Baptist Health Corbin following an illness. In addition to running his business, he was a long-serving member of First Baptist Church of Barbourville, where he served in many capacities and was a deacon emeritus. Most people simply referred to him as Russ. He was born on November 23, 1927 to the late Edward and Nell Elizabeth Mackey Pope.
“Russ was a stalwart member of the First Baptist Church family. He served as a part of our bus ministry for many years; served as a ‘Deacon’ (which translates ‘servant’) for many years,” said Pastor Shane Nickell. “In the last few years he and his wife Ann visited the homebound and hospital bringing a prayer and joy everywhere they went. Russ was always a great encourager to me as his pastor. I will miss him dearly.”
Knox County Clerk Mike Corey reminisced about his experience meeting Russ Pope for the first time. Speaking of his youth growing up in a local missionary church, Corey spoke of his first time meeting Pope. “I recall Mr. Pope serving the Lord’s Supper. He was dedicated to his church,” Corey said.
Most recently, Pope was honored by the Daniel Boone Festival Committee in 2017 as he was chosen to be the Grand Marshal for the festival’s 70th anniversary parade.
Pope leaves behind his loving wife of 65 years, Anna Pope, three children, Patricia Lee Pope of Frankfort, Margaret Ann “Peggy” Hicks and husband, Doug, of Corbin and James Russell Pope of Barbourville; four grandchildren, Jeremy Hicks and wife, Brandi, Nathan Hicks, Andrew Hicks and wife, Britney and Lauran West and husband, Justin; six great grandchildren, Kendra, Abby, Levi, Ethan, Layton and Alexis; a niece and two nephews, Beth Frerman, Dr. Mike Pope, Bob Pope and their families. A full obituary can be found in this issue on page B4.