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R. Hope (Lucas) Herdklotz PDF Print E-mail

In her usual pilot jargon, Hope “flew west” the afternoon of Nov. 21, 2013, with her children bidding her a loving goodbye (b. May 14, 1922, Visalia, Calif.; d. Nov. 21, 2013, Ashland, Ore.).

She is survived by daughter Patt (Kim Yasutake) of Ashland, Ore., son Mykl (Arthur) (Rita Wong Suey) of W. Sacramento, Calif., son Hal T. of Houston, Texas, and grandchildren Tyler Herdklotz, Amy Forth, Allegra and Kira Herdklotz-Yasutake. She was preceeded in death by her husband of 57 years, Thomas A. Herdklotz, parents Leland and Leona Lucas, and siblings June Smith and Gaylord Lucas.

Hope grew up on Jacobs’ Ranch in Visalia, Calif. She started violin in high school and was concertmis­tress her senior year. She oil painted, drew cartoons, wrote poetry and then took flying lessons.

After soloing, she worked as a controller running the “signal can” at Visalia airport and earned an AA in Education at Visalia College. The airport was made a U.S. Air Corps cadet base in WWII, and she met Tom as he came through as a cadet who then served as a cargo pilot through the war. They married Dec. 23, 1945, and went to live in Tom’s hometown of Woodstock, Ill., where they then raised their three children.

Hope went to her children’s concerts. She used her art to make them birthday cards, work with Tom on original Christmas cards, win the local ads display competitions and encourage their children’s creativity. She joined her husband at the VFW, helped sponsor the Propbenders model airplane club, was charter member of Lake Region Sports Car Club and the Exper­imental Aircraft As­socia­­­tion and, when they re­tired to Eagle River, was a member of the Sno-Eagles snowmobile club.

In her last years, Hope continued her sense of humor and feistiness, love of the sound of a sports car, celebrated the beauty in nature, savored fresh fruit (ah, loquats in Houston, peaches in Sacramento, pears in Ashland), marveling at a fine picket fence or a clear blue sky for good flying, celebrating memories of dear friends and family through all her 91 years.

This summer, the family will celebrate a graveside service in Woodstock, and an informal celebration with friends in Eagle River. The family invites people to remember Hope by doing something helpful or kind for someone else.


Tuesday, December 03, 2013 11:52 AM

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