Over the years we meet a lot of people. Occasionally, we meet someone who is extraordinary. About twenty years ago I met Becky Pope. Becky Pope was one of the most extraordinary people that I ever knew. Over the years Becky and I became friends. I can say without reservation, that I loved Becky Pope. I am no softee, but it was virtually impossible not to love Becky Pope!
When I first posted this Becky was alive. She recently passed away.
Let me tell you about this wonderful woman. Becky had recently retired from the Federal Probation Department in Houston. At the time of her retirement, Becky was a Senior Federal Probation Officer. Upon her retirement, Becky received high praise from many quarters. She was lauded by her fellow Probation officers, the Judiciary, the United States Attorneys Office and the District Clerk’s Office. The entire Federal Courthouse came out to praise this extraordinary woman. The praise was all well-deserved.
Becky was also honored by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. I know this, as I was the defense attorney who had the privilege of presenting my friend Becky with HCCLA’s Recognition. To my knowledge, Becky was the only federal or state probation officer who ever received this recognition from the defense bar. That alone should tell you something about Becky.
As a Federal Probation Officer, Becky had enormous power over the lives of the accused. With a few key strokes she could have influenced judges to hammer the hell out of the accused. Becky never did that. As a Senior Probation Officer, Becky could have influenced younger probation officers to hammer the hell out of the accused. Becky never did that either. Becky never abused her position or authority. Quite the contrary. Becky made herself available to the Defense. Becky was an expert in the Guidelines and she routinely fielded questions from defense counsel, helping defense counsel understand the often confusing Guidelines. I was one of many defense lawyers who called Becky and sought her expert opinion. Becky always made time for me and other defense lawyers. Becky often went the extra mile, pointing out to defense counsel, guideline issues we had not considered. More than once, Becky kept Defense lawyers,( myself included), from stepping in it. Finally, Becky never viewed herself as an advocate for the prosecution. She was the rare Probation Officer who applied the rules without an agenda. If Becky saw a Guideline that would help the Accused, she would not hesitate to point it out to Defense Counsel. Her intellect, her integrity and her charm made her a favorite among all who met her. So you see, it was quite natural for the Defense Bar to join with everyone else in thanking Becky for all she had done for us.
For the last four years Becky fought ovarian cancer. Her battle was nothing short of gallant. When Becky went for Chemo, she would wear different costumes to cheer the other women. Becky’s favorite costume was that of Wonder Woman. It most certainly fit her the best.
Becky’s fight was courageous and inspirational. Becky went home right before she died. She was surrounded by loved ones, continuing her fight. I visited Becky , and as always her concern was for those around her and not herself. Becky was one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.
Becky was a true fighter. She fought cancer as hard as any soul could fight it. She has also raised money to fight cancer. For four years, Ellen Alexander and I joined with Becky to help her raise money to fight ovarian cancer. Defense Lawyers, Judges, Assistant United States Attorneys, Probation Officers, Clerks, Case Managers, Friends, Family, and complete strangers all contributed in Becky’s Honor. This year, as Becky in Becky’s honor, I am asking all to give again.
Please Honor Becky by contributing to the fight against cancer. If you were a friend of Becky’s, I would ask you again to make a donation in her name using the link below. If you hate cancer, or would just like to ” do the right thing” please donate. No donation is too small, Or too large.
In the end, our time on earth is short and while here we must do our best for each other. We are not responsible for that which we inherit, but we are responsible for that which we pass on. This is an opportunity to pass on a better world to our children and our grandchildren. As Becky always did her best for us, let us do our best for Becky.
Please forward this blog link to anyone you think might hate cancer and might want to join us in this fight.
Thank you and God Bless my friend Becky Pope and her Family.
Robb Fickman, Houston