Iree W. Pope (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Judge Iree W. Pope, 91, entered into rest on Sunday, May 11, 2008 at Heartland Hospice, following a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Graveside services and interment will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at Westover Memorial Park, with Father Michael Lubinski officiating. Born July 26, 1916, in Screven County, Georgia, Rose Iree Williams left the farm and moved to Augusta, Georgia, under the watchful eye of her brother, W. E. "Bill" Williams, until she married Otto W. Pope. Judge Pope began her public service as a typist with the Richmond County Court of Ordinary, now Probate Court, on April 15, 1943. She became Clerk of the Court of Ordinary on November 15, 1947 and was later elected Judge and served from January 1, 1957 until February 16, 1998. She was re-elected to office ten "10" times and only had opposition once. Her term, of active service as Judge, lasted for more than 40 years. Pursuant to Georgia Law, she became Judge Emeritus, of the Probate Court, in February of 1998. Judge Pope attained, heretofore, un-reached positions, for a woman. She was the first woman elected Judge of any court, in Richmond County, Georgia, was the first woman in Georgia to serve on the Board of Directors, of a Federal Savings and Loan Association, Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, the first county official, to record by microfilm and the first county official to facilitate live television coverage, of election returns. She was also the only woman to serve on the Georgia Election Laws Study Committees, appointed by Governor Marvin Griffin and by Governor Ernest Vandiver and to serve on the Constitutional Revision Committee, appointed by Governor Carl Sanders. Her public and political activities included the following: member, secretary and treasurer of the Ordinaries Association of Georgia, secretary of the County Officers Association of Georgia, Vice President of the local Democratic Party and member of the State Democratic Executive Committee. Her public civic activities included the following: President of the Augusta Area Mental Health Association, Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Quota Club International. She was a member of the Advisory Committee of Half-Way House, Augusta Area Mental Health Association, Director, Secretary and Treasurer of Augusta Richmond County Law Library. Judge Pope, for many years, engaged in fund raising activities for the Cancer Fund and the United Way. Judge Pope is listed in the 6th Edition of Whose Who in American Women. Judge Pope was preceded in death by her husband, Otto W. Pope and her brother W. E. "Bill" Williams. Survivors include her nephews, William J. Williams and wife, Brenda R. Williams, W. Robert Williams and wife, Ann C. Williams, C. Thomas Williams and wife, Emily Williams, Harold Sullivan and Charles Pope, all of Augusta, niece Joan Mura and husband, Ryan Mura, of Atlanta, great nieces and nephews, Jennifer W. Neal, Amanda B. Williams, William Walker, Henry Williams, Ginger Sitler, Andrea Armstrong, Michele Durand, Robert Williams, Laura DeVoe and Carter Williams, sisters in law, Lorine B. Williams and Virginia Pope. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at Platt's Crawford Avenue. Pallbearers will be Judge Daniel J. Craig, Judge Richard A. Slaby, Patrick J. Rice, Larry I. Smith, James F. Findlay and Edward B. Stalnaker. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Richmond County Judiciary, members of Augusta Bar Association and Richmond County Probate Court staff. If so desired memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter, 1899 Central Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904. Platt's Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904, 706-733-3636. . Sign the guestbook at

The Augusta Chronicle-May 13, 2008