Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith


Bessie E. Smith, 90, of Oelwein, Iowa died on Monday evening, June 24, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society in West Union.

Funeral Service were held at  11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Floral Hills Funeral Home, rural Oelwein, Iowa with Jim Lawless leading the service.

Visitation was held one hour before the service on Saturday at the funeral home.

Interment was in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens, rural Oelwein, Iowa.

Memorial Fund were listed as the  March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society.

Online obituary at

Bessie Ellen Hope was born February 21, 1929 in Elgin, Iowa, the daughter of Sigurd & Martha (Danielson) Hope.  She attended country school near Elgin and graduated from West Union High School when she was 15 years old.  She continued her education at Upper Iowa University in Fayette where she received her teaching degree at the age of 17.  She taught at the West Union School, she taught K-8 at an Amish School and then taught 5-6th grades at the Independence school.  Bessie also taught home school to a number of students.  Bessie was united in marriage to Raymond Eugene Smith on September 8, 1951 at the Lutheran Church in West Union, Iowa.  Bessie and Raymond lived for many years in Fayette, Waterloo and Oelwein.  She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her great grandson, Dustin Smith, with whom she shared a birthday.

Bessie was very active at the Burton Avenue Baptist Church in Waterloo.  She was a Sunday school teacher, Awana teacher, was a narrator and lead the children’s church program, lead the arts and crafts program and was bus captain for the bus ministry.  She was a volunteer with the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society.


Left to cherish her memory are her 2 Sons:  Glen Eugene Smith of Fayette &

Herbert James (Julie) Smith of Waterloo;

4 Grandchildren:  Dawn Kamp, Debra Smith, Raymond Smith & Christopher Smith;

6 Great Grandchildren;

4 Great Great Grandchildren;

Brother: Lester Hope of West Union;

2 Sisters:  Jean Kurtz of Bettendorf &

Caroline Sullivan of Centerville and many

Nieces & Nephews.


Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, husband: Raymond on September 27, 2012, a baby girl, son: Raymond David Smith, great granddaughter: Jessica, 3 brothers:  Lorentz, Arnold and Big Lester and 6 sisters:  Virginia Chase, Ernestine Chase, Ruth Dewey, Anna Mae Malone, Evelyn Brown and Sandra Rinkey.


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