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MISSION – Bertran Arthur Pope Jr. passed away on May 27, 2011, in McAllen. He was born on February 19, 1922, the son of Bertran and Vinez (Swinson) Pope, in Sioux City, Iowa. He graduated from Spooner High School in Wisconsin in 1941.
Mr. Pope was inducted into the Army in 1942 to serve in WW II. He saw action in Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. He was discharged in 1945, with the rank of corporal. For his service he received the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, the European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, and the Bronze Star.
On May 22, 1944, Bert (“Junior” as he was known to his family) married Bernice (“Bee”) Strenke in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was stationed with the Army just before being sent overseas. After he was discharged, he and Bernice lived in various places in Illinois and Wisconsin during which time they had four children: Vonnie, Judy, Pam, and Davey. In 1952 the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Bert became a radio mechanic for North Central Airlines.
Bernice passed away June 29, 1974, after a five-year battle with cancer. In 1980, Bert retired to South Texas, and in 1989 he married Clara Farmer, a widow from Nebraska. In 1993, she too, passed away. In 1998 Rosemary Radke became his special friend.
Canoeing, camping and fishing were among the pastimes Bert enjoyed with his family. Later he took up dancing and, after moving to Texas, he built a sailboat and tried a little painting.
Survivors include a sister, Donna Case; children, Yvonne Pope, Judith (Jim) Kies, Pamela Anderson, and David Pope; six grandchildren Lynette (Julian) Tolentino, Daniel Kern, Lisa (Russ Echelbarger) Kies, Sheri (Jason) Clements, Deanna Fort, Melodie Pope, Micah Pope; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Norman, Allen and Donald, and a sister, Phyllis.
Services and burial of his cremains will be at a later date in Minong, Wisconsin. Services are under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home of Mission.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.