James “Jim” Russel Pope was born on July 18, 1949, in Pawnee City, NE and passed away peacefully on June 25, 2024 at his home in Unadilla, NE.

Jim was the second of four children born to Bruce and Arlene (Farley) Pope. He lived in the country at Tecumseh, NE until they moved to Syracuse, NE where he graduated from high school in 1967. During that time, he played sports, with football being his favorite. He was well known by his family for loudly trying to coach any team playing on tv. During high school he worked part time helping Elmer Neeman farm and enjoying Mildred’s delicious lunches while they all watched “As the World Turns”. After graduation he joined the Navy and served in Vietnam. After his tour of duty, he came home and continued to help Elmer and set up machinery at International Harvester.

On February 4, 1973, he and Mary Steinkuhler were married at Hope Lutheran Church in Burr, NE. From this union four children were born, Benjamin, Trevor, Leslie and Cody. They started their lives on an acreage south of Unadilla. Jim loved all animals and enjoyed riding horses and milking a cow. The family moved into Unadilla in 1983, where he taught the kids to play ball, work on cars, and hunt and fish.

He was employed by Wheaton Tubing for 30 years and spent 10 years in the sporting goods department at Walmart before retiring.

It was during his retirement that Jim and Mary began rescuing senior dogs and giving them lots of love and attention until they crossed the Rainbow Bridge. On the night of his passing, if you heard the thunder during the rainstorm, his family knew it was not actually thunder, but the tails of all the dogs Jim loved greeting him at the Rainbow Bridge. What a sight that must have been!

Jim and Mary were married for 51 years and celebrated by enjoying each other’s company and having ice cream at Madonna Rehabilitation where he was undergoing acute rehab following back surgery. Jim always had a very firm handshake when meeting people. He was very proud of the new deck and ramp his family built, so much so, he enjoyed his last Jack and Coke sitting outside with family.

Jim was proud of his time spent in the service but most proud of his family. He left behind his wife Mary, son Benjamin (Kellie) Pope, son Trevor (Megan) Pope, daughter Leslie (Colin) Malloy and son Cody (Sarah) Pope. He always made sure to brag on his grandchildren Kyler, Keegan (Kahner), Jarin, Hunter, Evan, Ella, Neely, Brayden, and Carson and his great grandchildren Palmer, Cora and Paxtyn. He could be found watching their sporting events, whether in person or live-streamed on the computer, fishing with them and untangling many lines, chasing them around and tickling them when he caught them.

He is survived by a sister Sara (Jim) Rosenthal, brother-in-law Bob Dunkle, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bill (Peggy) and sister Linda, and his parents-in-law Ervin and Leta Steinkuhler.

When Jim decided it was time to go on hospice, his greatest fear was missing his family. And now they are missing him and his orneryness.

Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, July 2nd at 2 p.m. at the Hope Lutheran Church in Burr. The service will be livestreamed on the Fusselman Facebook page.

Visitation will be held on Monday, July 1st from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home in Syracuse.

Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.

Arrangements By: Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, NE

Condolences to www.fusselmanallenharvey.com