Animals Pets 09

Richard Ernest Pope

October 19, 1945 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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At 9:30pm on September 1st, 2023, Richard passed away at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa, California, surrounded by family members. Richard was 77 years old.

Richard was born in Harlington, England October 19th, 1945, and was the first child of Ernest Bernard Pope and Iris Freda Pope.

Richard graduated High School in Northwood Middlesex, UK and subsequently attended The West London College of Building Construction and Engineering. He then worked for various construction and building companies until joining Taylor Woodrow Homes. In 1986 he was invited to join their California division to help expand operations in the western US and relocated the family to Southern California, where he was eventually made CEO of the western United States home building division. Over Richards’s long career he was thought of as one of the most respected and forward-thinking development leaders in the United States. He held senior management positions at various companies and even formed his own successful home building company named St. James Properties.

Richard loved to travel and the executive positions he held over the years took him all over the world including Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, India, North Vietnam, Europe and the UAE.

At the time of his passing he was proud and honored to be serving as Chairman of Summit State Bank, located in Sonoma County, California and also as Chairman of The Dang Collective, a performing arts and education company headquartered in London, UK.

Like his dad and his son he loved the game of golf and would be out playing whenever he could. True to character he played best and incredibly calmly under pressure and as such there were few who could beat him. He loved the competition and the frequent moments when he could deliver an opponent-crushing, clutch-winning shot to take the game!

Richard lived his life to music. He loved to play the guitar and really imagined himself as Eric Clapton, although we’re not sure the rest of the family agreed with that! In addition to Eric Clapton, he loved John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana, Bob Marley, BB King to name but a few. He always would quote John Lennon and say “Everything would be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

However, his greatest joy and passion came from his love of animals. Along with his wife Gail he founded BrightHaven Center for Animal Rescue, Hospice and Holistic Education and since 1993 has assisted in the care, rescue, and hospice of hundreds of older and special needs animals. One of his proudest moments occurred in 2013, when he and Gail received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in acknowledgement of their devoted service to these amazing and wonderful animals.

Richard loved and adored his family and went to great efforts to ensure that everyone kept, and will continue to remain closely connected in the fast-paced busy times we now live.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Bernard Pope and Iris Freda Pope and his beloved dog Rosie.

Richard is survived by his wife Gail, dog Ziggy, cat Purrci, daughter Kirstie (Dave) Franceschi, son Justin (Crystal) Pope, grandchildren Emma, Lexi, Luke, sister Stephanie Forman, niece Elkie (Ben) Hickey, and great-nieces Paige and Ava, and great-nephew Freddie.

A celebration of Richard’s life has been planned for October (please see details below). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The BrightHaven Center for Animal Rescue, Hospice and Holistic Education

Sunday October 22nd, 2023 at 11am

Valley of the Moon Club

7025 Oakmont Drive

Santa Rosa, CA 95409

We would love for you to join us and share your stories and favorite memories of Richard.

RSVP appreciated but not required. Text Kirstie (707) 974-1103.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Ernest Pope, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
October 22, 2023

11:00 AM
Valley of the Moon Club
7025 Oakmont Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins


The BrightHaven Center for Animal Rescue, Hospice and Holistic Education


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