Laura Mell Pope, age 71, of Douglas, Georgia passed away on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, FL following a brief illness. Miss Pope was born on October 7, 1946, in Douglas, GA the daughter of the late Albert Thomas Pope and Vira Tanner Pope.
Ms. Laura Mell Pope was an alumnus of Coffee County Schools. She earned her Associate Degree from South Georgia State College and completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Georgia University. Laura Mell was a life-long learner as she continued her education earning a Masters of Education in Elementary Education from Georgia Southwestern University, her Educational Specialist in Special Education from Valdosta State University and her Doctoral Degree in Child Studies from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to educational degrees, Laura Mell completed coursework at Mercer University adding certification in the area of Visual Handicapped Services.
Laura Mell began her teaching career with Wayne County Schools in Jesup, Georgia, where she taught at T.G. Ritch Elementary and later at Wayne County Junior High and Senior High.
In 1979, Laura Mell began her career with Coffee County Schools at Central School as a Special Education Teacher. During career, she also served Eastside Elementary, Coffee High School, and George Washington Carver Freshman Campus, with the majority of her service in the special education department of Coffee County Schools. Most recently, Laura Mell served children on the campus of Satilla Elementary.
At the close of her career, Laura Mell held teacher certification not only in early childhood education but middle grades and all areas of special education.
Laura Mell “officially” retired in May of 2008 with 36 years of service. Retirement was not in her vocabulary as she returned fall of 2008 serving as a part-time teacher, assisting students in the area of reading at the Freshman Campus and currently at Satilla Elementary.
For many years Laura Mell served as the Visually Impaired teacher, working tirelessly with students using braille and other forms of technology to assist with their educational needs. Coffee County Schools has lost an exceptional educator who will be missed by faculty, staff and most importantly boys and girls that were fortunate enough to call her their teacher. When it was all said and done, she gave 46 years educating students and her absence will be felt in the classroom for a long time to come.
She was also a member of the First Baptist Church, Douglas, Georgia.
Survivors include: her brother, Wayne Pope and wife Mary Ann of Marietta, GA; sister-in-law, Shirley Jean Pope of Camas, Washington; nephews: Rick Pope and Troy Pope; niece, Cathy Pierce.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church where Rev. Shep Johnson officiated. Interment followed in Stokesville Baptist Church Cemetery.
Sims Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.