John W. Pope

John W. Pope, 93

July 8, 2024

John W. Pope, age 93, of Chelmsford, passed away on July 5, 2024, with family by his side. He was the devoted husband for 69 years of Rita F. (Moran) Pope.

He was born in Concord on December 5, 1930, as the son of the late George Tracy Pope and Mable (Tracey) Pope. John grew up in West Concord, attending the Harvey Wheeler Elementary School, and graduated from Concord High School in 1949. He proudly served in the Marine Corps before marrying his classmate and soulmate, Rita, in 1954.

John and Rita moved from West Concord to Boston to pursue education and careers. John had an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and attended Suffolk Law, and later Framingham State graduate programs. He started out his career with the (then) First Boston Corporation as a securities salesperson. Shifting to his passion for helping others, his later career was as a counselor and manager for the State Department of Employment and Security.

After spending 26 years in Wellesley, he moved to Petersham in retirement, where he enjoyed civic and community involvement such as Lions Club, treasurer of the Petersham Library, and membership with the Marine Corps League.

As a young man, he lumbered in the woods of Maine, using a two-man saw with his brother-in-law. John was an avid hiker and climber, climbing and skiing in the White Mountains. Some of his favorite climbs were Mt. Washington, Mt. Katahdin and Monadnock. He canoed the Allagash, and hiked segments of the Appalachian Trail. Later, he took up sailing on his 32-foot Bristol — the Endymion. Until his health would not allow, he ran, biked, swam and was known for a daily habit of doing 80 pushups. He enjoyed cars and motorcycles alike, having several BMW motorcycles over the years and attending rallies as far away as Ohio. His favorite poet was Robert Frost. He read to expand his purview, enjoying discussion groups to explore the writings of Thoreau and the transcendentalists. He also admired the writings of Emerson, Solzhenitsyn, Kafka, Vonnegut, Melville, and Orwell.

In Petersham, he tended his fields and farm animals, and puttered in his post-and-beam barn. His greatest passion was spending time with his three grandchildren and family. He was known for always lending a helping hand, supporting others, embracing and accepting each person on their own terms, and even taking in a stray dog or two.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Fujita and son-in-law Kazuya Fujita of Chelmsford; three grandchildren, Sarah Hogan of Lowell, Corey Hogan and wife Karen of Billerica, and Anna Hogan of Atlanta, Georgia; two step-grandchildren, Alisa Fujita of Providence, Rhode Island, Beau Fujita of Cambridge; and an adored great-grandson, Patrick Christopher Hogan. He is also survived by three nephews, Andrew Pope and wife Judy of Canada; Jonathan Pope and Susan of Gloucester; and Jeffrey Pope of Gloucester, along with several grand-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Marion Ashe and brother-in-law Vinal; his brother Clifton Pope and sister-in-law Charlotte; and a nephew, Walter Ashe.

Family and friends will gather for a period of visitation at Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, on Thursday, July 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. His funeral service with U.S. Marine Corps military honors will follow at 3 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will be private at a later date.

Concord’s town flag will fly at half-staff on July 11, 2024, in recognition of John’s honorable military service during the Korean War.

In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to Emerson Health Foundation, 133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord, MA 01742 ( The Pope family will remain forever grateful for the exceptional care John received at Emerson Hospital CCU and Wheeler 5 during his final days, as well as Sunny Acres in Chelmsford.

“So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When Duty whispers low, ‘Thou must,’ The youth replies, ‘I can.'” 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. To share a remembrance or to offer a condolence in his online guestbook, please visit