Betty Lou Cope was born Oct 4th, 1931 to Guy Jonathan & Julia Barbara [Vasecka] Cope in Seibert, Colorado. She joined her siblings William [Bill], Evelyn, Hilma, and Mary on the Cope Ranch south of Cope, Colorado. The town of Cope and the ranch were founded by Betty’s great-grandfather Jonathan Calvin Cope in 1887.
Betty attended school in Cope and graduated from Cope High School in May of 1949. Betty married Edward Malcom Rapp on 20 Nov 1949 in Cope. Betty worked various jobs in Cope including managing a field office for Pioneer Construction in 1957 and being a census taker for the 1960 census.
In 1961, Ed and Betty moved to Yuma, Colorado and bought the Lucky Lanes bowling alley. Both Betty and Ed loved to bowl and were terrific bowlers. Betty was on the Ladies of the Lucky Lanes traveling team of Yuma which took first place in the eastern Colorado Regional Annual League Tournament in 1962.
The couple moved to Denver in 1964, where Betty worked as a bookkeeper and office manager at Mill End Shops from 1964-1967 and then at the Denver Real Estate Investment Association in accounting from 1968-1973. In her spare time, she did the books for St. Pious Credit Union.
Betty decided to start a new career following a divorce from Ed in 1972 and received her Cosmetology License in 1974 and apprenticed as a Barber. She started working at the old Stapleton Airport in a barber shop. Soon a “frequent flier” was coming in for frequent trims. Eventually the frequent flier asked her for a date and Betty married Virgil “Smitty” Frances Smith on Sept 17th, 1975 in Boulder, Colorado.
Betty and Smitty eventually decided to “ditch” the city life and return to the country. In 1982 Betty and Smitty bought a farm west of Cope. Smitty farmed the land and Betty became the accountant for the Arickaree School District. Betty worked at the school for 14 years before retiring.
Following Smitty’s death in 2003, Betty continued living on the farm for several years before moving to Yuma to be near family. Betty moved into a house on South Gum in 2006 and into a close community of neighbors whom Betty loved and who loved and supported her throughout the remainder of her life.
Betty left this earth on May 4th, 2021 at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado.
Betty is survived by her sister Mary Cope Williams Zech Robertson of Greeley; cousin Shirley Cope Harris of Colorado Springs; nieces Barbara [Martin] Bates Lalick of Muskegon, Michigan , Beverly [Dan] Williams Long, Yuma, Arizona, Janice Williams of Greeley, Donna [Jim] Madison Roberts of Haigler, Tracy [Alan] Zech Axton of Kersey; great nieces & nephews Johnathan Cope, Paul Smith, Jessica Smith Weigand, Julia White Baux, and Andrew Long; and her great-great nephews Preston and Riley Baux, and Logan Long.
Betty was proceeded in death by her husband Virgil Smith, parents Guy and Julia Cope, her siblings William [Pat], Evelyn [Bill] Bates, Hilma [Walt] Madison, nephews Charles Guy Bates and Warren Guy Cope, and niece Edith Ann Cope Smith.
A memorial service will be held at Baucke Mortuary Chapel on Monday, May 17th at 10:00 am. Followed by burial at the Cope Cemetery with a brief graveside service at 12:30 pm. Reverend Jamie Fiorino will preside.
Memorials can be sent to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, 2999 Co Rd 53, Keenesburg, Colorado 80643. A place that was very special to Betty.
To send flowers to Betty's family, please visit our floral store.