Dolores Sulzman Hope, 89, died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at Bickford Assisted Living in Mission, Kansas. She was born Nov. 29, 1924, to Joseph Sulzman and Mary Miller Sulzman in Selden, Kansas. Her character was formed during the lean years of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, which taught her to work hard, to be grateful for what little she did have, to help others who had even less, and to dust often.
In 1942 she went east to attend the University of Kansas, the first in her family to go to college. While at KU she was editor of the University Daily Kansan and worked as a stringer for the Kansas City Star and Times. After graduating from KU with a degree in journalism in 1946, she headed west to work at the Garden City Telegram. She worked at the Temple of Truth, as she called it, for two years as sports editor, reporter, and city editor. In 1948 she met and married Clifford Hope, Jr., and moved to Topeka for a year while he finished law school. While in Topeka she worked as an Associated Press correspondent in the Kansas Legislature and began rearing their first of six children. In 1954, shortly after the birth of her third child, Hope returned to the Telegram as a daily columnist, a gig she continued for more than 50 years and 12,000 columns. Stu Awbrey, the editor at that time, told her she could write about anything she pleased. And she did, writing with a self-deprecating wit about the mishaps and challenges of managing a large family, serving as a clearinghouse for all sorts of community news that readers called in, and establishing (and later disbanding) the Cat Placement Bureau to find homes for pets. But her column, initially known as The Distaff Side and later as At Random, also ventured far beyond the domestic and the light-hearted to reflect on the social turbulence of the 1960s and ’70s, the important role of the arts in rural areas, the need to educate all children regardless of their citizenship, and many other serious issues. In addition to her column, Hope wrote feature stories and news stories tracking developments on the local health care and religion beats. In both her columns and reporting she took a special interest in Garden City’s growing immigrant communities. In 1973 she was elected to the Garden City Board of Education, a position she held for 10 years, during a time of important developments in the district’s bilingual education programs. In 1979 she was named Woman of the Year by the Garden City chapter of Business and Professional Women. Over the years Hope volunteered for many local and area organizations, including the Santa Fe chapter of the Red Cross, the Finney County chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Tuberculosis and Health Association, Crossroads, and Emmaus House. She helped found the Belles of St. Catherine, the hospital auxiliary, and served on the St. Catherine Hospital Advisory Board, the YMCA board of directors, the High Plains Public Radio board, and as director of religious education at St. Dominic Catholic Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband. Survivors include five daughters: Christine (Ab Abercrombie) of North Charleston, S.C.; Nancy (Esteban Perez) of Santiago, Chile; Holly, (Chris Currin) of Dallas, Texas; Rosemary (Ray Ruppert) of Roeland Park, Kan., and Megan (Bob McGill) of Denver, Colo.; son Quentin (San Ong) of Denver, Colo.; six grandchildren (Albertine, Cormac, Amilcar, Flannery, Alyosha, and Fu Xian); three sisters: Helen Gedminas of Overland Park, Kan.; Bernadine Wood of McCook, Neb., and Bernice Hayes of Kansas City, Mo.; and 17 nieces and nephews.
Visitation: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 06, 2014 at Garnand Funeral Home in Garden City, Kansas.
Funeral Service: 10:30 a.m., on Friday, March 07, 2014 at St. Dominic with Father Reginald Urban as Celebrant.
Interment: Valley View Cemetery.
A vigil service with readings and remembrances followed by a rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Garden City. Friends of all faiths are welcome.
Memorials are suggested to Emmaus House, High Plains Public Radio, and St. Dominic religious education, all in care of Garnand Funeral Home.