Betty Jean Holland Dop, first-born child of James E. Holland and Mary Shivvers Holland, was born August 7, 1922, on the family farm a mile east of Fairview Christian Church near Pleasantville, Iowa. Her first job was detassling corn for Brownie Hudson; she used the money earned to attend 4-H camp that summer near Boone. She attended Sunnyside Country School through the elementary grades before graduating at age sixteen from Pleasantville High School.
Betty attended Iowa State College where she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics, completing the four-year program in three years by attending summer sessions. Following graduation, she was an art and home economics educator at schools in Blairsburg, Pleasantville, Orient, Bussey, Twin Cedars and Melcher-Dallas, all in Iowa, and in Arbuckle, California for one year. She received a master's degree in art education from Drake University. During the summer months, Betty worked as the 4-H Director in Iowa State University's Marion County Extension Office as a young single woman.
Betty married Howard Dop at Fairview Church on August 25, 1946. She had not seen him during the previous 23 months because he was stationed in Italy while serving in the U.S. Army. Following the wedding, the couple left for California where she taught school, while Howard worked on a large ranch. To this union, two sons were born: Joel, who presently lives near Pleasantville, and Lowell, who died of cystic fibrosis when he was nine years old.
Betty and Howard farmed for eight years south of Knoxville on Long Lane and moved in 1955 to Pine Hill Farm, which is east of Fairview Church.
As the oldest member of Fairview Christian Church, Betty served in a number of roles, including Bible school teacher, parish council member and, along with Howard, a youth group sponsor. She was also a member of the Marion County Extension Council and served as a hospice volunteer for more than thirty years, being honored in 2008 as " Hospice Volunteer of the Year".
While her sons were young, Betty put her teaching career aside to be at home with them. Even then, however, her love of teaching led her to be an instructor for an evening home decorating class. A gifted artist and designer, Betty participated in several art education conferences and other interstate trips to tour museums and hear noted lecturers.
Betty applied her fine design and artistic skills in creating the architectural plans for an addition to their home at Pine Hill Farm. This included incorporating stones and paving brick from the Chicago area for the 30-foot fireplace and cathedral ceiling.
Betty loved being outside and delighted in watching the lambs play. Springtime kittens were always welcome, and Betty noted with a smile that they also "add color" to the farm. She enjoyed showing her lovely flower-filled garden to others, sharing her wealth of knowledge about trees and plants.
Betty was special to all who knew her - a woman who cared deeply for her family and treasured her many friends. She influenced many with her comments on art and design - casual comments that were taken to heart by those who admired her eye for art.
Betty passed away April 9, 2017. Preceding her in death were her son, Lowell; beloved husband, Howard; parents, James and Mary Holland; and sister, Norma Lea Petersen. Betty is survived by her son, Joel, of Pleasantville; grandson, Monte, and his wife, Isabel, of New York City; brother, Jack (Norma Kay) Holland, of China Spring, Texas; brother-in-law, Folmer Peterson, of Knoxville, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Rev. Brent Hanna (close personal friend) will conduct the funeral service for Betty Jean Dop, 94, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017 at the Fairview Christian Church near Pleasantville, where she was a lifetime member. Immediately following the service, a luncheon and a time of visiting will be held in the church hall. Her wishes were to be cremated; a private burial will take place at a later time in Lincoln Cemetery. Betty suggested memorial contributions to HCI Care Services in Knoxville where she had volunteered for 30 plus years, or to Marion County 4-H; Betty was a 4-H'er and a life long supporter of Extension Programs.
Published on April 12, 2017