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Dr. Kenneth H. Pope, 85, Campbellsville, KY (1935-2020)

Dr. Kenneth H. Pope of Campbellsville passed away on August 16, 2020. He was 85 years old.

The funeral service will be held at 2pmET on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home, 418 Lebanon Ave., Campbellsville, KY, officiated by Rev. Earl West. Burial will follow in Brookside Cemetery.

Visitation is requested from NoonET to 1:30pmET on Saturday, August 22, 2020 at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home.

In his book Outliers, the researcher and author Malcom Gladwell reports that in terms of career opportunities, the best year to be born in the 20th century was 1935. Kenneth Harden Pope had the good sense and foresight to come in to this world on May 9th of that year in Shubuta, Mississippi. He was the first child of Matt and Roma Ree Pope. He was soon joined by his sister Roma Jean and then his brother Bernard. Some years later, the baby brother, Jimmy Lee rounded out these Mississippi siblings.

Due to the depression and then WWII, the family moved numerous times between Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana while Ken was a boy. When he was in 9th grade the family landed in Jackson, Mississippi where they remained. It was in high school in Jackson that he met his first love, Fay Touchstone. They married on April 22, 1956 and were together until her death in 2012.

Dr. Pope attended Mississippi College along with Fay. He put himself through school by delivering mail for the US Post Office. In 1959, their daughter, Robin, was born. After graduating with his BS in Mathematics, Dr. Pope then earned a MS in Mathematics from the University of Mississippi. During this time he also served in the Mississippi National Guard. At some point during his early 20s he felt the call to ministry. More on that in a moment.

He graduated from Ole Miss in the Spring of 1962. Dr. Pope sometimes liked to point out that James Meredith, the first African American student at the University of Mississippi began classes in the Fall of that year. Upon graduating Dr. Pope had several job opportunities. One would have taken the young family to California to work for Boeing, but this seemed way to far away from home for them. He settled instead to venture part way into the "North" and accepted a faculty position at Hannibal La Grange College Extension Center in St. Louis. While the family was in St. Louis, John Pope was born.

In 1964, Dr. Pope began a PhD program in math at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The following year he was offered a faculty position in Mathematics at Hannibal La Grange College in Hannibal Missouri. There he remained until 1982 serving as Math professor, Dean and eventually Vice President of Financial Development. During those years he was continually seeking out more knowledge, eventually earning his PhD in Higher Adult Education at the University of Missouri.

While working full time and taking courses at the University of Missouri during some summers and in Chicago at other times, he followed his call to the ministry and served as interim pastor in rural churches in North East Missouri and Western Illinois. His children have fond memories of playing in church graveyards and marveling at the outhouses in use in many of these churches. They have less fond memories of sitting on pews in unairconditioned buildings trying to get a breeze going with the funeral fans.

Not to be content with a full-time job, a rural pastorship, and traveling to attend university classes, Dr. Pope earned his private pilot's license in his "spare" time. He could rarely persuade Fay to get in a plane but he certainly enjoyed being in the air. At least one time he and his friend had to land their plane in a convenient field rather than on an airstrip.

In 1982 with a partially empty nest, Dr. Pope accepted a Vice President position at Campbellsville College (Now University). He kept that position until "retirement" when he launched a career as a Certified Financial Planner with New York Life Insurance. He also stepped in to preach when needed at churches in the Campbellsville area. Because apparently he was not busy enough, he was a member of and held office in the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. He also was a 32nd degree Mason. Ken and Fay enjoyed their retirement by traveling and taking care of their grandchildren, Christopher Hackett, Lydia Pope-Clark, and Gabriel Pope.

After the death of Fay in 2012, Dr. Pope surprised himself by falling head over heels in love with Susan Tesseneer. They had a joyous wedding on June 20, 2014. They were truly soulmates and enjoyed every moment of their too short time together. Dr. Pope took his last breathe with his dear Susan at his side.

Besides his wife, Susan Lee Tesseneer-Street-Pope of Campbellsville, he is survived by one son and one daughter: John Harden Pope and his sweetheart, Erica Ullman of Lexington and Dr. Robin Pope Santa-Teresa and husband, Ben of Silver City, New Mexico; two step-sons: Robert Beni Street, II and Ralph Calvin Street, Sr.; one daughter-in-law of the heart, Susan Pope; three grandchildren: Christopher Hackett and wife, Amanda Brusich-Hackett of Milwaukie, Oregon, Lydia Pope Clark and husband, Matthew of Seoul, Korea and Gabriel Pope of Milwaukie, Oregon; seven step-grandchildren; one brother, Jimmy Lee Pope and wife, Glenda of Metairie, Louisiana; several nieces and nephews and many other relatives and friends.

He was also preceded in death by one brother and one sister: Bernard Pope and Roma Jean Dykes.

Pallbearers will be Jerry Black, Christopher Hackett, Gabriel Pope, Ralph Calvin Street, Sr. and Robert Beni Street, II

Expressions of sympathy requested to be donations to Gideon Bibles and may be made at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home.

Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences at

This story was posted on 2020-08-18 14:24:56
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

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Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Dr. Kenneth H. Pope, 85, Campbellsville, KY (1935-2020)

2020-08-18 - Campbellsville, KY - Photo courtesy Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home.
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