Joyce Inez Hollar Pope

September 14, 1929May 3, 2018

Joyce Inez Hollar Pope, age 88, formerly of Conover, entered the Church Triumphant on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Asheville, NC, surrounded by members of her loving family.

Born in Catawba County on September 14, 1929, she was the first born daughter of Carl Clifford Hollar and Vera Estelle Bowman Hollar.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Elbert Hugh Pope Sr. The couple met through her cousins Cloyd Propst and Ralph Bowman during a Sunday afternoon visit to their Grandmother Ida Bowman’s house. It was the beginning of their story of lifelong and abiding love.

She is also survived by her three children: Melanie Joy Pope Smith of Swannanoa; Angela Faith Steiblin-Pope of Riehen, Switzerland; and Elbert Hugh Pope Jr. of Chattanooga, TN. She leaves behind two granddaughters who carry her name: Morgan Inez Smith of Lincolnton and Caroline Marie-Inez Steiblin of Riehen, Switzerland.

In addition, she is survived by her brothers, Bryce Hollar and Joe Hollar, and by her sister and best friend, Barbara Ann Hollar White, all of the Hickory area.

Beyond her immediate family, she leaves behind many other family members, former co-workers, clients, Catawba County bridge club players, and friends worldwide.

Joyce grew up as a darling blue-eyed beauty, capturing the heart of the senior class of Oxford High School when she was in first grade. She became their class mascot and appeared on stage in the senior class production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The event began her lifelong love of the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She played high school basketball and was the Salutatorian of the Oxford High School class of 1947.

Before she married and became a wife and mother, she was employed by Belk in downtown Hickory in the millinery department. Later, she worked for a local attorney and from there began a 30 year career with the Catawba County Department of Social Services. She was proud of her membership in the Catawba County Employees Quarter Century Club. Her clients came from all walks of life and became like members of her family. She rejoiced when her clients became self-sufficient and mourned them when they passed away.

Joyce lived her life fabulously. Her beauty was often compared to that of the actress, Elizabeth Taylor, a comparison that Joyce totally enjoyed. She was a world traveler and enjoyed visiting her children and granddaughters, whether it was to Georgia, Missouri, New York, or Switzerland.

She enjoyed many things. She was a fan of day time soap operas, most especially “The Bold and The Beautiful” and “The Young and The Restless.” Her favorite soap opera character was Josh from “As The World Turns.” Her favorite performer on American Idol was Adam Lambert from Season 8. Her favorite NASCAR driver was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. She called him “Little E” and wrote his name in the sand on the beach at Daytona each year on the day of the Daytona 500. She died knowing that “Gone With The Wind” was the best novel ever written and the best movie ever filmed.

In the 1960s, she joined a ladies bridge club and soon after became a card carrying member of the Republican Party. She enjoyed hosting parties of all kinds from barbecues to bridal luncheons. Guests feasted on such delicacies as fried okra and oyster stew. Her Christmas Eve parties are legendary and will be sorely missed.

She was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Conover. She was baptized into the church on October 30, 1929. According to church records, Joyce and Elbert were the last couple to be married in the old church sanctuary. She taught Sunday School to the youngest children in the church and, along with her husband, was a founding member of “The Young Couples Club.”

Her lineage includes a patriot of the American Revolution. The patriotic service of Daniel Hunsicker qualified her for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

A service to celebrate her life will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Thursday, May 10, at 3:00 pm, with Rev. Kevin Graudin officiating. Friends are invited to visit with the family in the church sanctuary for one hour prior to the funeral service. Interment in the church cemetery will follow.

Joyce loved flowers of all kinds. Your floral offerings will be most welcome or you may choose to honor her memory with a contribution to St. Peters or to the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 403, Conover, NC 28613.

The Pope family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Conover, NC.


  • Celebration of Life Thursday, May 10, 2018
  • Receiving of Friends Thursday, May 10, 2018

Joyce Inez Hollar Pope