some text Red Bank Vice Mayor Terry Pope / Photo from the city of Red Bank website

The Red Bank community is mourning after the sudden death of Vice Mayor Terry Pope, who suffered a massive heart attack Saturday, June 22, at his home.

He was 65.

"None of us were prepared for this," said former Red Bank Mayor John Roberts. "Terry was a great man, a great friend, great for the community and a great neighbor."

A member of the city commission since November 2014, Pope was named vice mayor at the start of his second term last November. He previously served on the Red Bank Planning Commission for two years, and as president of the Red Bank community pool advisory board for many years.

Pope was a professional trumpet player who played lead trumpet for Chattanooga's Monday Night Jazz Band for many years as well as for the MidSouth Symphonic Band.

He was involved with many local band programs, serving as band director at North Sand Mountain and Marion County high schools, interim band director at Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe High School, assistant director and trumpet instructor for the Georgia All Star Band, and jazz band director at Chattanooga State.

The former manager and sales representative for Giant Steps Music Inc. was operating his own instrument rental business, Great Southern Instrument Rental and Sales, at the time of his death.

"He was the best lead trumpet player in the Chattanooga area," said Jim Souders, Pope's former band director at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. "He was highly respected and highly thought of."

Roberts and current Mayor Eddie Pierce both remembered Pope's strong work ethic and contributions to the Red Bank community.

"He had a quite a bit going on," said Pierce, adding that Pope was very active in Red Bank's summer swim program and was working with his church, Red Bank United Methodist, to start a food pantry in Red Bank.

"If you knew Terry Pope, he was always working and making sure things got done," said Roberts. "It's hard to replace Terry Pope."

Contact Emily Crisman at