NEW WILMINGTON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Ann Pope, 99, of New Bedford, Pennsylvania, passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
Ann was born April 7, 1921, in the farmhouse of her parents, the late John Martinko and Catherine Dolak-Martinko, in New Bedford, Pennsylvania.
She was a lifetime member of St. James Catholic Church in New Bedford, Pennsylvania.
At age 15, she graduated from Villa Maria High School. After high-school she was offered a full-ride scholarship to Seton Hall University and was also asked to join the Cleveland Press as an editor. Due to her mother’s early death, Ann remained home to help care for her younger sister, Agnes. Later in life, she completed her education and received her BS in Education from Youngstown State University and a Master’s in Reading from Westminster College.
Her working career began at Moyer’s Pants Factory in Youngstown, Ohio, as a seamstress. She later worked at Mangels Dress Shop.
In 1942, she married Edward L. Pope. During World War II, while Ed served overseas, Ann became “Rosie the Riveter” as a welder at Youngstown Steel Door. Later she and Ed started the first television and appliance sales and repair shop in Western Pennsylvania and Ann had a small dry goods store. She also worked at the Mahoning National Bank as a commercial teller. After earning her degree in Education, she taught at Sacred Heart School in Youngstown, Ohio and was the last non-Amish teacher in the Amish school located by the Cheese Factory in New Wilmington before the Supreme Court ruled that the Amish schools could have their own teachers. After 23 years of teaching, Ann retired from the Wilmington Area School System where she served as a classroom teacher, as head teacher and as a reading specialist.
Among her many hobbies, Ann was an avid naturalist and nutritionist. She enjoyed flower arranging, traveling, reading, gardening, and birdwatching. She especially enjoyed spending time with her children and their families. She was a member of the New Bedford Garden Club. Competing in Mahoning and Lawrence Counties, Ann won numerous awards for her floral arrangements. She was a member of the New Bedford Book Club, the New Bedford-Pulaski Historical Society, the New Bedford Bridge club for 65 years, The Christian Woman’s Organization, St James Parish Council and the Ohio Culture Alliance.
Ann had a strong faith in God and missed Mass only if she was sick, which wasn’t often. She frequently shared the story of her baptismal day in April of 1921. The rain had turned the roads into a sea of mud. While on the way to Villa Maria for the baptism, her father’s 1920 Dodge became stuck on Evergreen road. Her father walked two miles back to the farm and returned with a horse and buggy. The horse pulled the car out of the mud and they were on the way. That was the last day the buggy was used until it showed up under the maple tree in her yard where her children took many imaginary trips out west on it.
Ann continued to serve her church for more than 70 years as a florist, a volunteer at church dinners and other events and serving on the Church Council during their expansion.
As an adventurer and traveler, Ann took numerous trips to Europe. Her most memorable trips were to Stavnik, Slovakia the village of her parents’ birth, to visit relatives. Ann also took a sabbatical from teaching to study Native American history. During her sabbatical, she traveled extensively throughout the US visiting reservations, returning to share not only knowledge but her empathy, respect and admiration for the Native American Peoples with her students.
Ann was an avid gardener from the time she was a little girl until age 97. One of her favorite quotes was, “The person who plants a seed and watches it grow believes in God.” She often told a story about gardening in her youth: It was a very hot day and her job was to plant peas. The row was long. Somehow she tripped and the peas fell to the ground. Picking them up seemed harder than planting them. Exasperated by her futile attempts to put the peas back into the bag, she decided to cover them with dirt. She told her mother that she had planted all the seeds. Several weeks later as Ann was skipping up and down the rows, her mother surveyed the garden and spotted the cluster of peas growing. Ann said it was a good lesson to her not to lie because it will catch up with you.
Ann had a life-long thirst for knowledge. She treasured her books, magazines, newspapers – especially the Financial Times, Investors Business Daily and Wall Street Journal. She also enjoyed writing. Reflecting on the birth of her first child, Ruth, Ann wrote:
A mother forgets with a baby’s smile
The pain and discomfort she felt for awhile
Her hours are many and her work is not done
But when baby smiles her reward is won.
About death she wrote:
We know not from where you’ll come
Nor the hour, day or season
Or for what reason.
Will it be on wings of shrieking,
Piercing pain and terror
Or as silent as a dove in enfolded wings of
Peace to be carried above with love.
For Ann it came as a dove.
Ann is survived by her children, Ruth Fletcher of New Bedford, Pennsylvania, Kathleen (Dan) Trock-Molhoek of Ada, Michigan and Sylvia (Michael) Jara of Columbiana, Ohio; daughter-in-law, Marianne Pope; six grandchildren, Renee (Mark) Weber, Jennifer Trock, Alex (Kristin) Trock, Randall Pope, Amy Arden and Chrissy Jara (Melanie Smith) and great-granddaughter, Vera Trock.
She was preceded in death by her late husband, Edward L. Pope; her son, Russell Pope; her grandson, Russell Pope II; her brothers John and Martin Martinko and her sisters, Catherine Pavlov, Mary Kanetsky and Agnes Martinko.
A Memorial Mass will be held later.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) where Ann’s cousin, Father Anton Javorsky, served in Papua, New Guinea or to a charity of your choice. Contact information: 800-275-0626, 1835 Waukegan Road, Techny, IL 60082.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ann M. Pope, please visit our floral store.
Arrangements handled by Wasko Funeral Home.
A television tribute will air Sunday, January 10, at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV.
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