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Obituary: POPE, WANDA

Wanda Mae Higbee Pope"Wonderful Wanda"Wanda Mae Higbee Pope passed away peacefully at home on April 25, 2013 in Orem, Utah. She was born January 31, 1934 in Winslow, Arizona to Rich and Daisy Higbee.Wanda graduated from Winslow High School (Arizona) in 1952. She graduated in 1956 from BYU with a degree in Elementary Education. While a student, she was a member of the Y Calcari Club and was part of the Rockette's Dance Team.She married Ray Pope on June 28, 1956 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. They were blessed in this union with seven children whom they loved without reservation. She loved supporting all her family's activities and accomplishments. Wanda was a gifted teacher and had an enduring love for the students she taught in Utah and Illinois. Wanda carried a book with her always, ready to discuss her reading with anyone, anywhere. She thrilled to sit in the audience of any live theater performance. She enjoyed going to movies- and loved discussing them afterwards even more.Wanda took every opportunity to enjoy living. She proudly wore true blue at every BYU sports game she could attend or watch. She snow and water-skied, participated with her husband in a bowling league and enjoyed playing many sports including basketball and tennis. She loved gymnastics and dancing. She especially enjoyed cheering on her children and grandchildren in their varied interests and activities. She delighted family members as well as neighborhood children by doing her signature cartwheels, which she performed with perfect form on her 70th birthday.She earned the nickname of "Wonderful Wanda" through genuine kindness as well as countless acts of service to others. It was not a title that she personally sought, but was one that chose her. Her disposition to serving others was a life-long personal quest that came to her as naturally as her sweet smile, warm hug, and truly happy disposition. She had a positive thing to say about everybody. In fact, "Wonderful Wanda" was a title that followed her wherever she and her family made their home across six states! She served in many capacities as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and naturally gravitated toward helping young people.It is fitting to finish this tribute to her with remembrances of those who knew her best:"She is an elect lady""My son said she was the best grandma.""How fortunate you are to have her as your mom. She is an incredible soul.""She is an amazing example of how I want to live my life.""Wanda could make anyone feel like they could do anything they wanted to. And she was the champion of any underdog ... a kind word for everyone, and a friend who could make you laugh ALL the time! She's a wonder!!!""Always, by example, she reminded us that everyone is worthy of love and acceptance.""She was always so kind to me.""I am a much better person today for knowing her and the influence she had on me during those most vital years of my life.""Heaven just gained another beautiful angel today.""(She) was one of the most wonderful people I remember from my childhood.""We feel blessed to have known and loved her.""She was my strength, my biggest fan, and the best example of how to live my life.""There will be a big hole in our hearts forever."And finally "There is only one Wonderful Wanda."Wanda is survived by M. Ray Pope, her husband of 58 years, their seven children: Dana (Bruce) Bodily of Riverton, UT, Kelly (Stewart) Anstead of American Fork, UT, Eric (Stephanie) of Aztec, NM, Laurel of Las Vegas, NV, Richard (Janelle) of Orem, UT, Marcus (Turia) of Longview, WA and Gavin of Las Vegas, NV, and by her brothers Gene (Dorothy) of Visalia, CA, and Dale (Janet) of Herriman, Utah.At her passing, Wanda and Ray had 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Her legacy also included countless "adopted" children whose lives she touched while actually living in the Pope family home for a time and many others who lovingly considered and called her their "mom." She is preceded in death by her parents Rich and Daisy Higbee.Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Lakeridge 5th Ward building 900 South 80 West, Orem, Utah. A viewing will be held Wednesday, May 1, 2013 6-8:00 pm at Walker-Sanderson Mortuary, 646 East 800 North, Orem, Utah, and also Thursday, May 2, 2013 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church, prior to the service. Interment will be held at the Garden City Cemetery in Garden City, Utah later that same day at 4:00 p.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at Walker-Sanderson Mortuary.