Ida "Susie" Mae Simpson Pope

October 09, 1925 - March 28, 2017

Ida

Ida Mae Simpson “Susie” Pope – She was born Friday October 9th, 1925 to John Henry and Artie Misha Simpson in Old Olive, Texas. The youngest of 4 girls, she grew up in Sour Lake, Texas during the height of the Great Depression.  Her mother took boarders into their home to help make ends meet and Ida would sing for them with the accompaniment of an old wind up Victrola. She was a talented singer at a young age and at 9 years old one of the boarders wanted her to sing on the radio but her mother, being a staunch Baptist would not hear of it!  Ida attended Sour Lake high school, where she was captain of the Basketball team, a talented blues singer and class poet as a senior in the class 1942. The mascot for Sour Lake High School in those days was “The Warriors” and it was a perfect moniker for her. Fiercely independent, she worked for the phone company in Beaumont after graduation to help support her parents.  She decided to send herself to welding school and became a first-class welder at the Pennsylvania Shipyard in Beaumont Texas and remained there throughout the war.  Ida was a beauty and in addition to singing she loved to dance.  Her mother would sew her dancing dresses with flared skirts on a treadle Singer sewing machine and after work she and her friends would head out to the Pleasure Pier or another of the area dance halls and dance the night away to the big bands of the day. When the war ended, the men came home and the ladies all went back to more traditional jobs.

 

She went to work for her friend Alma Gregory at the White Owl Café where she met her future husband Joe Pope on the day he strolled in and ordered ice cream.  Ida said he was good looking and cocky, wearing a pair of Australian flying boots and pilot’s glasses. She was immediately intrigued.  He was fresh out of the Army Air Corp where he had been a pilot and was ten years her senior. They dated for about a year with Joe giving her the nickname “Susie” and were married in Sour Lake on April 27th, 1947.  

 

 

He was calm and reasoned she was fiery and full of fight, a perfect pair.  They were blessed with two children a son, Joseph Charles Pope and 12 years later a daughter, Misha Lea Pope and were married for almost 50 years until Joe’s death.  

 

 

They moved with Joe’s job as a pipeliner for the Texas Pipeline Company, until finally settling in Humble Texas in 1968. Ida loved Humble and the many friends she made there.  She was well known for her homemade candy and as an amazing southern cook. She was fun loving and fiercely protective of her family and made sure that her daughter Misha and her friends knew how to dance and to “never leave the house without your makeup on”.  Ida spent many late nights and weekends taking girls to concerts and dances, she loved the bright lights. Joe and Susie remained in Humble until Joe’s retirement in 1980 from Texaco when they moved back to the old family home in Sour Lake in order to care for her elderly mother, Artie.  They had a quiet life in Sour Lake where they enjoyed sitting on the porch, listening to the trains in the distance and spoiling their grandchildren Natasha and Justin.  Ida loved buying frilly Easter dresses for her granddaughter and making biscuits for them in the iron skillet when they visited.   Ida cared for Joe at home for the last two years of his life with the determination that was so characteristic of her, until his death in August of 1996. 

 

 

Always a fighter she saved her toughest fight for last, Alzheimer’s. Diagnosed in 2005, she went to live at Brookdale Dowlen Oaks in 2008 after hurricane Ike (it took a hurricane to get her to leave home).  Her family will be forever grateful to the dedicated and loving care she received from Kindred Hospice and her sitter Rosie Caughlin but most especially to the staff at Dowlen Oaks, in particular the director of the memory care unit, Angela Scott.  They are the hardworking angels right here on earth.

 

 

She was a proud, strong and independent woman. She was fierce in her love of her family.  We were more loved and had richer lives because she was in them.  It’s hard to believe someone so full of life couldn’t live forever but in our hearts she will.  Ida died on Tuesday March 28, 2017 at the age of 91.  She had her face turned towards the sunny day and her daughter and son were with her.  The sky was blue, the dogwoods were blooming and the wild March wind blew from the west to carry this warrior home.

 

 

Survivors include her son, Joseph C. Pope and his wife, Marion A., of Sugar Land; daughter, Misha Pope Bruno and her husband, Shawn, of Beaumont; and grandchildren, Justin A. Pope and Natasha A. Pope.

 

 

She is preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Joseph A. Pope.

 

 

A gathering of Mrs. Pope’s family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00p.m., Friday, March 31, 2017, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Her graveside service will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Oak Hill Cemetery, Cameron, Texas.

 

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 700 North Street, Suite M, Beaumont, Texas 77701.

Broussard's Mortuary - Major Drive
1605 N. Major Drive Beaumont, TX 77713
Gathering of family and friends
Broussard's Mortuary - Major Dr.
1605 N. Major Drive Beaumont, TX 77713
Friday, March 31, 2017
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
memorial contributions
Alzheimer's Association
2909 W. Holcombe Blvd. Houston, TX 77025-9992

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