Delores Hope was so Catholic that even her Presbyterian husband won an award from the Pope. Of course, Delores was married to the legendary Bob Hope for 69 years. They were generous benefactors of many children’s charities and of her parish. Their money helped build a beautiful sanctuary. Mrs. Hope died Monday at home. She was 102 years old.
The Hopes lived in Toluca Lake, which is next to Burbank. On Halloween, their staff would hand out promotional items with Bob’s ski-nose caricature. I took my kids trick-or-treating in Toluca Lake several times in the years we lived out there. I remember the kids getting pencils and flying discs from the Hopes.
Before the rest of my family moved to California, I rented an apartment in North Hollywood. On Sundays and holy days I would attend Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church. The custom there was for the congregation to hold hands during the Our Father. One Sunday, there was only one other person in my pew, so I took a few steps to my right and held the hand of the woman next to me. She looked familiar but I couldn’t think of her name. I realized later that it was Delores Hope. She had a slightly runny nose and I remember thinking she must be rich if she can afford to wipe her nose with an Hermès scarf.
Funeral services for Mrs. Hope will be private. When Bob Hope died, they had his funeral at dawn at St. Charles Borromeo. Delores will be buried alongside him in the Bob Hope Memorial Garden on the grounds of the San Fernando Mission.