Birth Date: 02/12/1939
Deceased Date: 07/07/2021
Pope Loftin Hardee passed away on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. Born February 12, 1939, Pope was a daughter of the late Leon Earl and Ada Pope Faircloth Hardee. She was predeceased by her brother Al. Pope is survived by her sisters Faye Hardee and Debbie Anderson, brother Thad Hardee, all of Smithfield, and sister-in-law Linda Hardee of Four Oaks.
Pope graduated from Smithfield High School in 1957. She was on the girl’s basketball teams (’55 – ’57), playing the “bench warmer” position most of the time. She was also a cast member in the productions of “Cheaper By the Dozen” (’55) and “Our Town” (’56). Pope attended East Carolina College and graduated in 1959 with a Certificate in Secretarial Science. During her professional career she worked in the Johnston County Clerk of Court office, B & R Wilson Ford (now Classic Ford), and the Johnston County Board of Education (Payroll Department), from which she retired in December, 1997.
Pope was a member of Smithfield’s First Baptist Church. She loved her church, and a great deal of her life was centered there. She was active in youth activities, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, served as a nursery volunteer, and on the Bereavement Committee. In retirement, she worked in the After School program for 21 years. Her love for music led her to being in the choirs for children and youth. As an adult she was a member of the Sanctuary Choir, singing alto for over 50 years.
Although Pope did not have children, one of the greatest pleasures in her life, along with Faye, was being the “Smithfield Grandmothers” to Lauren and Mark Colbert! And years later, Pope and Faye enjoyed providing child care to Lauren’s son, Owen Alford. Pope was an avid reader, liked working word puzzles, often listened to recordings of Christian music, and enjoyed watching televised sports events: professional tennis, the Olympics, college football and basketball, especially the ACC and NCAA Basketball Tournaments. But her favorite games to watch involved the UNC Tar Heel basketball and football teams!
A memorial service will be held at Riverside Cemetery Extension (Front Street) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, 2021. The family will greet friends following the service. Due to the summer temperatures, attendees are encouraged to wear casual attire. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to First Baptist Church – Music Ministry, P.O. Box 209, Smithfield, NC 27577 or to SECU Hospice House, P.O. Box 1376, Smithfield, NC 27577.
A huge thank you to the administration and staff of the SECU Hospice House, and to special friends, Luttisa (“T”) Dobbin and Deborah Altman, for their care giving, understanding, kindness, and love during Pope’s brief illness (Lewy Body Dementia).