• Last modified 2126 days ago (Aug. 30, 2018)



Kathleen Pope

Kathleen Virginia Pope, 81, passed away Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

She was born in Abilene, Kansas, on Feb. 11, 1937, to parents, Vernon and Lydia (Meyer) Higer.

Kathleen was raised on the family farm near Hill City, Kansas, with her brother, Virgil Higer.

She was active in 4-H and enjoyed working with poultry and other farm animals.

Kathleen graduated from Hill City High School and Kansas State University.

She married Randall R. Pope, a fellow KSU student. They have two children, Mark R. Pope and his wife, Cheryl, of Grayslake, Illinois, and Renee L. Polenske and her husband, Gene, of Gig Harbor, Washington.

With Randall’s employment in the National Park Service, the family lived in Omaha, Nebraska, (Midwest Regional Office); Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa; Ozark National Scenic Riverway, Missouri; and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

In her retirement years, Kathleen enjoyed traveling, gardening, and fishing. She was active in the Gatlinburg Garden Club and Gatlinburg First United Methodist Church for over 30 years.

She was proud of her two children, Mark and Renee; her grandchildren, Christian Christensen and husband, Geoff, Gregory Pope, and Jackie Pope; and great-grandson, Zachary Christensen.

Kathleen was pleased both children and grandchildren are university graduates.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Friends of the Smokies or Gatlinburg First United Methodist Church.

Kathleen’s ashes will be scattered in the Smokies at a later date. Online condolences can be made at

Last modified Aug. 30, 2018