Everett Parker Pope ’41, Maine’s last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient, died on July 16, 2009, in Bath on his 90th birthday.
Everett Parker Pope ’41, Maine’s last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient, died on July 16, 2009, in Bath on his 90th birthday. Born in Milton, Mass., on July 16, 1919, he prepared for college at North Quincy High School. While at Bowdoin, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and president of his class. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduation and deployed with the First Marine Division to the Pacific in 1942. He received a Bronze Star Medal for valor for his service at Guadalcanal and in the New Britain campaign. He received the Medal of Honor for a treacherous assault against the Japanese on Peleliu in September 1944. He was also awarded the Purple Heart. After the war, Bowdoin awarded him an honorary degree in 1946, with another to follow in 1989. He began his civilian career at Workingmen’s Cooperative Bank in Boston, where he was named president of the bank in 1953 at the age of 34, making him the youngest bank president in New England at the time. He pioneered the use of interest-bearing checking accounts, and was an enduring supporter of the federal student loan program. He served as the first chairman of the board of Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corporation in 1982. He retired from the banking business in 1983, and moved with his wife to Brunswick. He retained his connection to Bowdoin for decades, serving as an overseer from 1961 to 1977, and as president of that board from 1973 to 1977, then as a trustee for the next 11 years, retiring in 1988. During his tenure on Bowdoin’s governing boards, he established the Pope Family Scholarship Fund, headed the committee responsible for the memorial across from Gibson Hall that honors Bowdoin veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars and WWII. He is survived by sons Laurence E. Pope ’67 and Ralph H. Pope ’69 and two granddaughters. He was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Eleanor (Hawkins) Pope.