Una Tuttle

Obituary of Una Tuttle

Una Alice Pope Tuttle, singer, wife, mother and grandmother died May 17th in Madison, New Jersey at the age of 102.

Una Pope, born in Mobile, Alabama and a resident of New York City since 1933, was a granddaughter of John Alexander Pope, who founded Mobile’s Excelsior Band in 1883.  She was the youngest of four daughters born to John Clement Pope and Alice Catherine Labatre. She began her musical career at an early age singing with her sisters in her father's orchestra, Pope's Dreamland Serenaders. 

In 1933 she came to New York City with her sisters to find work during the Great Depression.  Her first formal engagement was shortly after arrival at the Lafayette Theater. She and her sisters (Odile, Eoline and Inez) formed The Pope Sisters and toured through upstate New York, New England and Canada in addition to singing with NBC Radio in New York City in nationally broadcast programs. The sisters also appeared in several movie shorts, performed on Broadway and appeared on the same stages and were friends with several musical celebrities including Duke Ellington.  A film display of her and her sisters is on exhibit at the Museum of Mobile.

In 1940, Una retired from show business and married Martin Anthony Tuttle, also from Mobile.  Although two class years apart, they had been friends since attending Mobile’s St. Peter Claver Elementary School.  They lived in Manhattan and raised two sons. Una and Martin were married for more than fifty years until Martin’s death in 1992.

Una is survived by her sons, Thomas Anthony Tuttle and Stephen Pope Tuttle.  Thomas and his wife, Kathleen Powell Tuttle reside in Albany, New York.  Stephen and his wife, Marianne McCrea Tuttle reside in Madison, New Jersey with their two children, Anna Olivia (12) and Martin Aaron (11).

Una will be interred alongside her husband in the columbarium at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood. The service will be held on Saturday morning and attended by members of her immediate family and a small number of long-time family friends.  The family is grateful to so many who have reached out to express their condolences.  Although not necessary, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Musicians Foundation, Inc., 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2303, New York, NY 10001: info@musiciansfoundation.org

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