Hope LaVon Appleton Schenke of Covenant Living, Turlock, CA died May 11, 2022 at the age of 103. She was born March 9, 1919 on the family farm near Edgewood, Iowa. Her parents were Otto and Floy (Rause) Appleton.
Hope had many loves in her life. Her primary love was for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her love for Jesus was reflected in her love for, and interest in the lives of family and others. She was deeply interested in asking questions about life-stories of nearly everyone she knew. Her love for her family was legendary and they knew she could be counted on for prayer, support and encouragement.
She married her best friend Robert E. Schenke in 1943. They were married for 64 years until the time of Bob’s death in 2007.
Hope had a love for children and for teaching. She started teaching at the age of 18 in a one room country school. For this position all that was required was a high school diploma, which she had received from Colesburg High School in 1936. She later graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in 1939 and furthered her education, getting an advanced degree from Pasadena College (Point Loma) in 1968. The last 20 years of her career were in Ojai, CA teaching first grade. She was acknowledged for her excellence in her profession on several occasions and her class consistently had the highest reading scores in the district. She retired at age 69. She also taught Sunday School all those years.
One noteworthy fact about her life is that until her passing, she had fond memories of her grandfather, Willam Henry Appleton, whom she knew until she was seven years old when he passed. Willam Appleton was born in 1839 and was a veteran of the Iowa Infantry in the Civil War.
Hope had an avid interest in the world around her, both the natural world and people. She traveled extensively, even into retirement. When she was no longer able to travel she focused on the people around her. The last 20 years of her life (age 83-103) she would interview and write “life stories” of her fellow residents at Covenant Living. She completed over 200 memoirs about people she lived in community with. She made clear that her goal was to pass on family’s spiritual legacies to the next generations.
Hope never wanted to be in the limelight and always downplayed when others praised her, usually turning the praise back to her maker. She was a stellar example of servant-leadership to her family and all those who knew her.
Among those mourning her passing and looking forward to a reunion are her children Juli (Dan) Sexton and Robert (Mitzi) Schenke, grandchildren Rebecca (Ryan) Stowell, Trent (Missy) Sexton, Reed (Flo) Schenke, Lauren (Keith) Bushell and great grandchildren, Tyler and Caleb Stowell, Soleil, Lyra, Finley, Tripp, Knox and Jett Sexton, Heidi and Pierce Schenke.
In the last years of her life her love of children was focused through her support of Seed of Hope Children’s Dorm in Thailand. If you would like to honor her memory in some way instead of flowers, she would be pleased if you instead sent a donation to: https://www.seedofhopethailand.org