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Martin's Story

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Martin L. Pope, 80, of Selinsgrove, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on Dec. 25, 1937, in Sunbury, a son of the late Michael E. Pope Sr. and Gertrude J. (Smith) (Pope) Onderdonk.

On June 22, 1962, in St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Freeburg, he was married to the former Pauline E. Lauver, who survives. Together they celebrated 55 years of marriage.

Martin was a 1956 graduate of Sunbury High School. He served as Treasurer for his high school class until his passing. He played football and baseball, having lettered in both sports for three years. He had the distinction of scoring the first two touchdowns on the present Shikellamy High School field.

From 1956 to 1957, he attended Massanuten Military Academy on a football and baseball scholarship. In 1957, he entered Bucknell University on a football scholarship, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor's of science degree in Business Administration.

From 1962 to 1964, he served in the U.S. Army stationed in Giessen, Germany. He served as a service company commander with the 92nd Artillery and was honorably discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant.

In 1964, Martin began employment with International Harvester Co. as a sales representative and zone manager. He began his career with Nationwide Insurance as an agent in 1969. He won many trips and awards and ranked in the top 150, out of over 5000 agents country wide. Among his many sales awards were, Presidents Conference, six times; Champion, five times; Challenger, 15 times; Life Executive, 10 times; and Commercial Key, two times. He retired from Nationwide in 1992 and continued working part-time as an agent and broker until his full time retirement in 1999.

Martin was a present member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Freeburg, served as President of the Evergreen Cemetery Association, Treasurer for the Pope Reunion Committee, and was a member of the VFW, Selinsgrove, National Rifle Association, and Mid-Penn Sportsman's Association.

Martin was a past member of Shade Mountain Golf Association, Loyal Order of the Moose, Selinsgrove, and the Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation.

He was an avid sports fan, rooting for all four Philadelphia sports teams, as well as Penn State, Bucknell, Susquehanna, and the Selinsgrove Seals. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, making many trips to the Western United States, Canada, and Alaska. He coached his sons' Little League Baseball Team, the Freeburg Bucs, for several years.

Martin and Pauline enjoyed seeing all of their grandchildren's and great-grandson's sporting events, trying never to miss a game. They traveled across the United States, Canada, and many countries in Europe.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Steven and Sharon Pope, Curtis and Danette Pope, Brian and Lucille Pope, all of Selinsgrove; six grandchildren, Brandon Pope and wife Krista, Mitchell, Derek, Mallory and Mason Pope, and Ryan Rumberger and wife Kara; five great-grandchildren, Gavin, Makayla, and Owen Pope, Riley and Kellen Rumberger; one brother, Michael and wife Jill Pope of Northumberland; two sisters, Francis and husband Ed Reiche of Florida, Virginia and husband Dennis Lucas of Lewisburg; one brother-in-law, Charles Lauver and wife Barbara of Middleburg and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded by one granddaughter, Jenna Pope; two brothers, Galen Pope and Rusty Onderdonk; and one sister, Janice (Pope) Kratz.

Family and friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, at the V.L. Seebold Funeral Home, 601 N. High St., Selinsgrove.

The viewing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Peters Lutheran Church, New St. Freeburg, followed by the funeral at 11 a.m., with Bishop Barbara J. Collins officiating.

Burial with military honors will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Freeburg.

Memorial contributions may be made to Evergreen Cemetery Association, C/O Robert Reggia Jr., P.O. Box 143, Freeburg, PA 17827, or Geisinger Hospice, 100 N. Academy Ave., Danville, PA 17822.

The family would like to thank all the doctors and nurses, Geisinger hospice, Visiting Angels, and so many people who supported and prayed for Marty during his 10 month battle with cancer.
Published on January 26, 2018
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