Friends and family will gather on April 21st in Santa Cruz to say goodbye to a loving sister, wonderful mother, devoted grandmother, great-grandmother, and trusted friend, Vera Jean Hope. Vera passed away on Easter Sunday at Dominican Hospital with her family at her bedside. She was 88 years old.
Born in Santa Cruz to Henry Grossman and Maude Shelton Grossman, Vera spent her childhood sewing, playing the piano and French horn, dancing, riding her bike about town, and was an active member of the Girl Scouts. As a child, she spent many years helping her dad at their variety store in downtown Santa Cruz where she learned to wait on customers, reorganize counters, and clean; skills that remained with her for the rest of her life. At the age of 14, Vera was hospitalized with infantile paralysis (polio) where she remained for several months undergoing physical therapy treatments until she overcame the disease. Vera graduated from Santa Cruz High School and with two scholarships under her belt, went on to earn a degree from the Children’s Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco. Vera became an RN and worked in Pediatrics at Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo. She soon returned to Santa Cruz and worked various nursing jobs until receiving a scholarship to Johns’ Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, and pursued a post-graduate course in “Aseptic Technique” which prepared her for a position of operating nurse. Her career as a registered nurse spanned over 35 years, with 29 of those years working as a surgical nurse at the VA Hospital in San Francisco.
Vera took pride in completing over 35 Sierra backpacking trips in her lifetime. She also took numerous trips to Hawaii, Washington State, and visited a variety of European countries with family and friends. In her later life, Vera enjoyed gardening and berrypicking, filling jars with her prize-winning jam, a favorite of family and friends. She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter ED, and a long-time member of First Presbyterian and Trinity Presbyterian Churches in Santa Cruz. Vera was preceded in death by husbands, John Harrison Bates in 1983, Robert Bruce Hope in 2010, and brothers, Henry Grant Grossman and William Shelton Grossman.
Vera is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Leila and Bob Humphrey, and her children, Carolyn Bates Welch, Henry and Kristi Bates, Ellen Hope Bauerle, Bruce Hope and Paula Hammett and Emily and Lee Duffus. She leaves behind numerous cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 21, 1:00 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 420 Melrose Ave, Santa Cruz. A luncheon reception will follow. Memorial gifts in Vera’s name can be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church or Santa Cruz al Salvador, 420 Melrose Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.