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Elizabeth Jane Pope (1929-2020)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 9/9/2020 at 12:16:40

Bondurant - Elizabeth (Betty) Jane (Bishop) Pope, passed away peacefully on September 4, 2020. She was born near Norwalk, Iowa, on January 14, 1929 to Lester and Tereasa Bishop. She married Letser William Pope in January of 1949, who passed in 1984, with whom she had her two children, her son, Leanord (Lenny) Pope, who passed in 1981, and daughter Jane Ann Pope.

Betty is survived by her brother, Roy Bishop; daughter, Jane Ann (Pope) Graham; granddaughter, Wendi Fellner; and great grandchild, Kai Fellner.

Betty moved to Bondurant with her parents in 1945. She married Lester William Pope in 1949, and began farming with her husband that same year, until Lester passed in 1984. Betty has since farmed with her brother, Roy Bishop and Roy's son, Ted Bishop for 36 years.

In 1959, Betty painted for multiple photography studios in the Des Moines are and began her career as a photo portrait artist. The Master Photographer, Max Maxheim sought Betty's artistry to solely support his photography studio, where she was employed for 22 years. Over this period, Betty painted well over 1,000 portraits. In 1972, Betty won first place in the Brush Oil Division of the Iowa Professional Photographer's Association yearly competition. Her interest in original canvas paintings was fostered by her relationship with and tutelage under Iowa's famous portrait artist, Maxine Pendry. Betty created 40 original canvas paintings. Two of her paintings were purchased by and were front covers of The Wallace's Farmer Magazine. Betty created her original artwork from 1981 through 2013.

Prior to her career as an artist, Betty Pope stayed true to her family's Irish farming heritage. This Pope family farming included raising championship cattle, hogs, and fields of corn and beans. Betty's contribution to the farm was raising 1,000 chickens, which supported an egg route throughout the Des Moines community.

Betty stayed continually active in the American Legion, her Bondurant High School Alumni Banquet Club, and the Greenwood Birthday Club.

During Betty's recent trip to her ancestral home of Ireland with her son-in-law, James Graham, and daughter Jane Ann, they revisited the Waterford Crystal factory, where her own crystal collection originated. In a true back to heritage moment, she also stopped and visited an unsuspecting Irish farmer. They told each other of their Irish and Bondurant farming lifestyles, experiences, and operations over a cup of tea in the kitchen, and under the shade of a beautiful tree. For her last 24 years, Betty was a much loved and unsuspecting, ongoing victim of her son-in-law, Jim's Dubuque Yearly Graham Family Reunion's shenanigans. This was especially so at the 4th of July events at the Graham's cottage on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

She was a long-term parishioner of Saints John and Paul Catholic Church in Altoona. All who knew Betty loved and cared for her. Loving memory of Betty will always be with her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

A public visitation will be held Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Saints John and Paul Catholic Church, 1401 1st Avenue S, Altoona, Iowa. A private family service will follow. Betty will be laid to rest alongside her husband, Lester Pope at the Bondurant Cemetery in Bondurant.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in loving memory of Betty.

Condolences may be expressed at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.


Polk Obituaries maintained by Cheryl Siebrass.
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