Hillsboro – Joan Hope, 90, died June 3, 2017 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. She was born December 31, 1926 to Norman and Lucy Mae (Stubbilefield) Ohlis in LaPorte, Indiana. She married Morris P. Hope September 5, 1955 in LaPorte, Indiana. Survivors include: husband, Morris P. Hope of Hillsboro; son, Norman P. (Julie) Hope of McPherson, KS; sister, Betty Shipton of LaPorte, Indiana; 2 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Predeceased by a sister, Shirley Hewitt. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 8, 2017 at The Hillsboro United Methodist Church in Hillsboro officiated by Pastor Morita Truman. Family will receive guests from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to Tabor College, the Church or the Hillsboro Senior Center in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch Taken from the Funeral Bulletin
Joan Louise (Ohlis) Hope was born on December 31, 1926 in LaPorte, Indiana. She was the middle daughter of Norman and Lucille (Lucy) Ohlis. Joan had two sisters Betty Jane and Shirley. Her father passed away from lung cancer at the age of 34 leaving Lucy to raise the three girls alone. Extended family was important to the family during her formative years. She developed and maintained close relationships with several of her Aunts and Uncles through adulthood.
Joan graduated from LaPorte High School in 1944. While in high school she worked at a dry cleaners. After graduation from high school, she began working at JC Penneys in LaPorte as a cashier. While working at Penneys, Joan met Morris Hope, they met through mutual friends who set them up on a blind date. They dated for two years Morris proposed and Joan said “when we gonna set a date.” They agreed upon September 4, 1955 and married in St.John’s Lutheran Church. They honeymooned in the Ozarks in Arkansas. Upon returning to Indiana after their honeymoon they settled into an apartment in Michigan City Indiana.
A year one two days after they were married their son Norman was born. During 1956 they moved to LaPorte Indiana a community they would call home for 57 years. They purchased their first house 805 Roberts Street in October of 1959, a place they would call home for 54 years. The home was one of the first in the subdivision which quickly filled up with young families. The neighborhood became a close community with each of the families children playing together. The families looked out for each other’s children and Joan did her part, providing snacks and drinks, and extending hospitality to the neighborhood children.
It was during the time in the 1960s that Morris went into business for himself, leasing a gas station from Martin Oil Company. Joan played an active role in the business as a business partner. While Morris operated the station, Joan kept the books and accounting records, doing payroll and getting the information ready for their tax accountant. One of the more interesting chores she assumed was making the daily ice run. Morris and Joan decided to get into the ice business. They purchased an ice vending machine and an ice maker. The ice maker sat in their basement. While Joan bagged and stapled 10 lb bags of ice, Norman, his cousins, and the neighbor kids would carry the bags from the basement to the trunk of their 1964 Impala and then ride with Joan to the statioin to unload the ice. It would not be unusual for there to be 200 lbs of ice sent on each trip.
The family vacations during this time consisted of trips out west to Colorado, but mostly to Arkansas to see Morris’s sisters. It was there that she got a taste of southern hospitality. These vacations consisted of fishing trips on the Mississippi River (which Joan enjoyed), fish fries and endless card games. Morris and one of his three sisters would usually be partners while Joan and one particular brother in law Junior would partner up. The laughter would ensue when Junior and Joan would win Junior bidding with cards that were not the best but always saying “I knew Joan would have what cards I needed.”
During the 1970′ Martin Oil converted the station Morris had lesased to a Mini Mart and Self-Service. Joan then went to work for American Home Products as a time keeper a position she held for 10 years. In 1978, Norman married Julie adding a fourth member to the Hope family. In 1982 Norman and Julie moved to Kansas and a year later Joan’s first granddaughter Jennifer was born. Three years later their second granddaughter Kati arrived from Korea.
Joan loved spending time with her grandchildren. She spoke often of the special time that she had with them as young children. She treated them to all kinds of goodies, making special treats and sending them through the mail. Holidays were special as the family got a chance to get together and visit.
Joan had close friends in Indiana. She and Morris traveled extensively with June and Ed, Al and Vi; Harry and Marion; and Pat and Cathy. They had a Friday night eat out group with Harry, Marion, Pat, Cathy and Delores and Joan was (for the most part) the master chef. It might be spagetti, it might be tacos, it might be an Arkansas fish fry, but it always included some delicious desert. From Fried Pies, to Green Dump Cake, to Dieters Downfall, loads of cookies, Pecan Pies, and those delicious “Goofballs” there always be some sotr of sweet treat waiting for the group after supper.
Every year at fair time the church that Morris and Joan attended had a consessions building. They would serve meals from 7:00 am till 8:00 pm. Joan was the Pecan Pie Lady. Morris and Joan would typically work their 8 hour shifts and come home in the evening. Additionally, she baked up to 18 pecan pies for the fair which were sold at the stand. Needless to say, the pies were sold out well before the others were.
Morris and Joan enjoyed traveling during their retirement years. They spent time in 49 of the 50 states only missing getting to set foot in Rhode Island. They went of cruises, bus trips or just in the car. They loved the time they could spend seeing America,
During the 2000’s Morris and Joan felt the need to move colser to Norman, Julie and their Daughters. So in 2010 they purchased their current home in Hillsboro. They were “snow birds” spending the summers in Indiana and the winters in the “warmer climate” of Kansas. During 2014 they completed the move to Hillsboro and sold their Indiana Home.
Adjusting to life in Hillsboro was made easier by their involvement at the Hillsboro Senior Center. Morris and Joan took their noon meals there daily. They enjoyed the fellowship and support from the other seniors at the center and it became (and still is ) an important part of their lives in the community. They also made connections at the United Methodist Church. Joan attended several of the Methodist women’s events and enjoyed her moments with friends.
Joan also had the opportunity to see her great grandchildren, which brought her great joy. When Christopher, Jennifer and the great grand children would come over they always talked about getting “Grandma Jo cookies.” Them looking forward to that treat and her providing it brought her great joy. Images of Joan on the floor with Vivienne and Oliver playing “the marble game” are things that the family will not forget.
During late April an Oncologist told Joan that she had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She took the news as we might have expected, “no chemo, no hospital, no nursing home.” Over the past six weeks family and friends have come to visit and say their goodbyes. It has been bittersweet, seeing such vitality drained from such a caring person. Morris made the comment “Joan had a heart of Gold” now she is at rest with her savior Jesus. Joan leaves a legacy of hospitality, graciousness, caring, giving and service. A life well lived for Jesus, she will be missed.