Obituary: Linda Pope

The late Linda Pope

Dispensing optician Linda Pope, the vibrant practice owner who was well known to many in optics, sadly passed away in December 2019, quite unexpectedly, following routine heart surgery.

She leaves behind her bereaved husband of 48 years, Roger, daughter, Alexis, son Ian, their spouses and three grandchildren who she adored.

Much admired for her broad sense of humour and passion for the natural world, Linda 71, combined motherhood with establishing her practice in 1979 at Hawhurst, Kent, near to the family home in Goudhurst. Many patients recall Linda taking her Cocker Spaniel, Gruber, to work with her every day – a poignant reminder of her love of nature and animals. Linda’s respected business is now owned by Liz and Hannah who first joined as 15 year old work experience trainees.

At her funeral in December guests were told that Linda Johnson, as she then was, enjoyed a happy childhood in Windsor. She remained very fond of the town and recalled walking across the Thames there when it was frozen during the harsh 1963 winter.

Linda left the local grammar school with excellent results and went to work briefly for ICI as a lab technician. She soon decided to take another path and train as a dispensing optician at City and East London College where she met her soulmate, Roger. They qualified in 1970 and married the following year, first living in Blackheath and later in Datchet, close to Windsor, before moving to Kent.

Linda was a passionate gardener, often giving plants away that she had nurtured, and generously opening her garden to raise funds for the local hospice. Passionate about wildlife, the family asked for donations in place of flowers for an organisation close to Linda – the Rye Harbour Nature Trust where she volunteered.

The Pope family are raising £2,000 to help support the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre Appeal in memory of Linda. Donations are welcome via their Just Giving page.

Report by Janice English.