POPE, Thomas L., age 86
Died: Sunday, September 27th, 2020
Celebration of Life: 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at Evergreen Funeral Home in Eau Claire
Interment will be decided at a later date
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Thomas Leonard Pope, age 86, of Eau Claire, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 27, 2020 at The Gardens at Winsted in Winsted, MN where he had been residing. Tom died from what he referred to as "olditis".
Tom was born October 9, 1933, the second of eight children, to Leonard and Gwendolyn (Jordan) Pope in Eau Claire, WI. Tom grew up in the area of Eau Claire known as "Shawtown" along the Chippewa River. The family endured hard times after the loss of their mother during childbirth in 1941. Despite the hardships and sad times, the family had some terrific stories about family, adventures, and other happy times. Several years after the passing of his mom, Tom's father, Leonard, found his 2nd true love and married Elmyra Bowe in 1952. Along with Elmyra's four children, the couple went on to have six more children.
Tom enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 18. He was a radio operator during the Korean War and spent much of his service stationed in Japan. After returning from the service, Tom went on to spend 40 plus years in the vending machine business. Starting in Milwaukee, WI, then on to Oshkosh, WI, Tom worked for Canteen. He later owned his own vending company, Select Vending Services in Duluth, MN, which he eventually sold when he retired at the age of 70.
Tom, a gentle father and mentor, is survived by his children, Kevin (Kay) Pope, Debi (Mike) Nikodem, Bonnie (David) Mead, Linda Pope and Karen Pope; grandchildren, Nicole, Lavena, Nicholas, Adam, Zachary, Lindsey, Kelsey, Candace, Mackenzie, Sara, Derek, Isaiah and Owen; great grandchildren, Kylie, Aiden, Eli, Raelyn, Grayson, Luka, Heartlee, Raheem, and Vivian; siblings, Lenny, Penny, John and Kathy; along with numerous nieces and nephews which he adored, cousins, and so many great friends (Kevin, Jerry, Chris, just to name a few).
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; step mother, Elmyra Pope; siblings, Joan, Larry, Dick, Bobby, Butch "Allen", Chuck, baby boy Pope, Sue, and Joyce; and granddaughter, Olivia Rose.
Tom will be greatly missed by all that love and knew him. A very special thank you to the staff at St. Mary's Benedictine for taking such good care of our Tom in his final years.