William A., October 6, 1920 – September 26, 2018, age 97 of New Smyrna Beach, FL, was born in West Lebanon, NH on October 6, 1920 the son of William L Pope and Amy S Pope. He had one sister, Alida F Pope Kelly, and one brother, William. His mother was a first cousin of President Calvin Coolidge. Bill joined the Marine Corp on November 7, 1942, and he was transferred to the USS Shangri-La aircraft carrier in the gunnery division. He was in the Admiral’s 3rd fleet with 4 carriers and included the battleship Missouri. (the Japanese surrendered on the deck of the Missouri to General MacArthur), 2 cruisers and many destroyers. Many Japanese suicide planes tried to attack them. One day, his carrier was ordered to move several hundred miles away from Japan. They were not told why. They found out the reason was that the US had dropped the atomic bomb. The Japanese surrendered. In order to get the Marines off of the Navy’s ships, a rope was shot from the bow of our ship to a troop ship. Bill was placed in a landing craft that was ordered to land at a Japanese naval base. The landing craft spread as far as the eye could see. It was an amazing site that he would never forget. They hit the shore in landing craft. The ship took over a battle ship in the bay. The Japanese were no trouble. It was a privilege for him to participate in seeing the surrender. Not something everyone gets to see. He was honorably discharged from the Marines in November 1945.
He came home to Florida and Bill married Ella Mae Moore on October 17, 1943 and they had 2 daughters, Ruth Ellen, born in 1945 and Becky Lynn who was born in 1953. They were members of the boat and ski club. He helped to build the clubhouse and helped start the club. While in Florida Bill worked for the ice company, the FEC railroad, and he went to work for Life of Georgia Insurance.
Daughter, Ruth has 3 children; Michelle, Heather and Michael. Her children are grown and have their own families now. Michelle’s children are; Brandon, Austin and Cameron. Heather, married to Robert, children are; Troy, Ty and Travis. Ruth’s son, Michael, married to Dominic, has a daughter Harlee. Daughter Becky graduated from FL Southern College in Lakeland, FL and retired from Bank of America after working in the Mortgage division. In April 1979, Bill’s first wife passed away after 36 years of marriage. After his first wife passed, Bill married Tabitha Williams McGee. Tabitha has 5 children, Steve, married to Jan, and their children are Tracey, Mike and Jennifer; Carolyn who passed away was married to Joe Hope; Mark who is married to Helen; David, who is married to Kim, have 2 children, Kyra and Katja; and Scott, who is married to Joie, have 3 children, Jake, Brett and Molly.
A Celebration of Life service for Bill will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 11 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 310 Douglas Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL., with honors by the US Marine Corp and the New Smyrna Beach Legion Club Post 17. Memorials are requested to the church. Inurnment will take place in Edgewater-New Smyrna Cemetery at a later date.
New Smyrna Beach