Jean Pope Abbey of Sarasota passed away May 19, 2011, after a brief illness.
Jean was born May 22, 1933, in Huntington, N.Y., the daughter of Arthur and Norma Pope. A graduate of Richmond Hill High School in 1950 and Adelphi College in 1955, Jean was valedictorian of both classes. With her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, Jean began work for General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., in computer programming, earning notoriety as the highest ranking woman during her five years at the company.
After marrying, Jean and her young family moved to Tampa in 1960, then to Sarasota in 1963. Employed by the Sarasota County School Board, Jean worked in data processing and computer programming for 24 years. In 1980, Jean earned her master's in vocational education from the Unversity of South Florida.
Jean was an active member of the St. Wilfred Episcopal Church for over 40 years, serving in the Altar Guild. Jean also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. She was also an active member of the Delta Gamma and Sarasota Panhellenic Alumnae Associations.
Survivors include her children Lee and Laura Abbey of Atlanta, Pat and Stacy Abbey of Tampa and Krista and Pat Benz of Santa Barbara, Calif.; her brother Don Pope of Huntington; grandchildren John, James and Elizabeth Abbey of Atlanta, Andrew and Allyson Abbey of Tampa, and Alicia, Brittany, Savannah and Patrick Benz of Santa Barbara; and many loving friends.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at St. Wilfred Episcopal Church, 3773 Wilkinson Road. A celebration of life reception will immediately follow the service at the church.
Memorial donations in her name may be made to the American Red Cross, 2001 Cantu Court Sarasota, FL 34232-6252.
Jean was an avid book reader and enjoyed an active life of travel, numerous volunteer activities and spending time with her family. Jean was a wonderful blessing to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Arrangements under the direction of National Cremation & Burial Society, Sarasota, FL.