Longtime F.C. Resident, Cherry Hill Foundation Founder Mildred Pope Dies

October 29, 2012 6:11 PM0 comments

Mildred Leith Shackleford Pope, formerly of the City of Falls Church, died in Evans, Georgia, on Oct. 17, 2012. She lived in the Broadmont neighborhood of the City of Falls Church for 60 years and was active in a variety of civic organizations.

Mrs. Pope was well known for her love of gardening and history. She was an avid and accomplished gardener her entire life. The gardens at her Falls Church home were included in the 2007 Virginia State Historic House and Garden Tour. In the 1990s, the National Cathedral and the National Arboretum accepted her prized American boxwoods for donation.

Her historical interests led her to volunteer for the Smithsonian’s Victorian Garden exhibit; she was also an active member of the Northern Virginia Antique Arts Association and the Falls Church chapter of the Victorian Society in America. She served on the Falls Church Historical Commission for a number of years and was one of the founders and the first president of the Friends of Cherry Hill Foundation. In remembrance of her long involvement with Cherry Hill, she directed that a pedestal sundial be donated to the Cherry Hill farmhouse upon her death.

Mrs. Pope’s Leith ancestors were among the early settlers of Loudon County. Her family resided in Vienna, where she was born on Sept. 24, 1916. As a young woman, she traveled into the District to attend school; she graduated from Western High School in Georgetown. She then attended the Washington College of Music, George Washington University, and won a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. During World War II, she volunteered for the Red Cross, playing the piano in local Army hospitals. For 50 years, she was active in Washington, D.C. and Virginia music circles as a pianist and a teacher.

Mrs Pope was preceded in death by her husband, John Macauley Pope, and her son, John Macauley Pope Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Jane Pope Rigot and husband, Bill, of Martinez, Georgia; son, James Quintard Pope and wife, Renee, of Arlington; grandchildren Kathleen Leith Rigot of Denver, Colorado; Sarah Elizabeth Rigot of Arlington; and William Taylor Rigot and wife, Erin, of Greenville, South Carolina.

Funeral services were held last Saturday at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia. Interment will be at Flint Hill Cemetery in Oakton next Monday at 11 a.m.

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