ESTHER POPE FALMOUTH, Mass. - Esther Pope, 80, passed away gently on Monday, Feb 3, 2014, leaving behind her sister, Jean Bissonette; brother, Burton Shangraw (wife, Kathy); sons, Dale and Adrian (wife, Jennifer); and all her beloved relatives, to join her daughter, Buffie, who predeceased her. Esther grew up in Shelburne and excelled at basketball, softball, and for fun, pinball. Upon graduation from Shelburne High School, she joined the Air Force and became a Radio Operator during the Korean War. She married Francis Pope, enjoyed travelling to many distant countries, and made friends wherever she went. The couple made a home in Falmouth, Mass., in 1964. Their marriage did not last and she was left with three children and a house. She worked many jobs to raise her children on her own, but eventually fell in love with the Visiting Nurses Association, where she worked as a nurses' aide caring for special needs children for over thirty years. Esther accumulated many accolades but most importantly, many lifelong friends. She was small in stature but big in heart. She never saw a disability in them, only a child that needed her as much as she needed them. It was a match made in heaven and she truly was in heaven when working with 'her' kids. Over the years, she played volleyball at the Gus Canty Rec center, but most loved playing women's softball for what was the West Barnstable Women's Softball League. One of her fondest achievements was starting and running the annual Audrey Moore Memorial Softball Tournament, to raise money for breast cancer research. Esther was loved by the many people she touched with her spirit and will be sorely missed. Burial and memorial will be this summer at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetary at a time convenient for the family. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Esther's memory to Make-A-Wish Foundation at http://wish.org; or Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod at www.bbbsmb.org.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 7, 2014