William "Bill" Taft Klope Jr.
May 22, 1930 – August 17, 2020
William Taft Klope died peacefully at home in Ventura on August 17, 2020 surrounded by family after a valiant fight with Parkinson’s disease. He was 90 years old.
Born on May 22, 1930 to William Taft Klope, Sr. and Elsie Rockwell Klope, he was a lifelong resident of Ventura. He grew up on Vince Street in “The Avenue” district of the city, attended E.P. Foster Elementary School and had fond childhood memories swimming and fishing in the Ventura River as well as countless happy hours spent at the Boy’s Club of Ventura. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 104 and often reminisced about his many backpacking adventures throughout the backcountry of Ventura County. One of his first paying jobs as a young man was working in the Ventura and Santa Paula oil fields and offices of Standard Oil. After graduating from Ventura High School, Class of 1948, he attended Ventura Junior College. He later attended and graduated from dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. There, he met the love of life, his beloved wife of 66 years Rose Ann Gowdy, at a school dance. It truly was love at first sight.
Bill and Rose Ann were married in Santa Ana, California in June 1954, and shortly thereafter, Bill was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as a dentist. He served in the Korean War for two years as a Lieutenant on the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. He always referred to the carrier as “CV-19.” He was later promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was a proud veteran. Returning from duty, Bill became a father, one of his greatest joys, and eventually had four sons and a daughter. During those early family years, Bill returned to UCSF to attain a Master’s Degree in Oral Surgery. In 1962, he returned to Ventura and practiced oral surgery from his office on Loma Vista Road for the next twenty-five years before retiring to pursue his many family and volunteer interests as well as hobbies.
Bill was actively involved for many years with Ventura Boy Scout Troop 128. He served as Scoutmaster for several years and influenced hundreds of young men in how to live the Scout Law and to be men of character. These are qualities he exemplified throughout his life. He also served for many years on the Ventura County Boy Scout Council, including as District Chairman and Council President. Bill was particularly proud to serve on the Site Development Committee for the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast, creating the Arnaz Program Center where an apple orchard is named in his honor. He made many other friendships and significant contributions of time and talent to various service organizations and clubs including: Museum of Ventura County; Rotary Club of Ventura East; Ventura County Amateur Radio Club; Ventura County Model A Club; Founding Member of El Cien Dance Club and Deacon of Community Presbyterian Church.
As a ninth generation “Californiano”, Bill was particularly interested in his family history and that of California as well. He enjoyed researching early California documents and authored a detailed book on his own family history which he shared generously with family members. He discovered he was a descendant of members of both the Spanish led Portola and de Anza Expeditions as well as founding families of the Pueblo of Los Angeles and the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara. His relatives were also present at the founding of Mission San Buenaventura in 1782 with Father Serra. Bill was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing and hunting with his family and friends. He loved to tinker in his woodshop, enjoyed welding, rebuilding engines, grafting his “Rosie’s Delight” apricot trees and bestowing handmade gifts to family and friends. He was a man of wide interests and substantial gifts and talents.
But for all his endeavors and the full life he lived, Bill’s greatest joy was his family. He is survived by his loving wife Rose Ann; sons and daughters-in-law Bill and Ellen Klope of Ventura; Tom and Mary Jane Klope of Mountain View, California; Matt and Joan Klope of Oak Harbor, Washington; Bob and Lynn Klope of Valley Springs, California, and daughter and son-in-law Amy and Michael Olenchalk of Sonora, California. Bill will always be “Papa” to his ten grandchildren Billy, Maggie, Lisa, Brian, Matthew, Megan, Katie, Dan, Mikey and Elizabeth. He will also be dearly missed by his three great-grandchildren Lucia, Leonardo and Emery, and by his beloved brother and sister-in-law Bob and Kandy Klope of Camarillo.
No services are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Bill’s honor to the Ventura County Council, Boy Scouts of America or the Livingston Visiting Nurses. PS He loved Amy’s lemon pie!
Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, CA 93003. Condolences may be sent to TedMayrFuneralHome.com.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
William "Bill" Taft Klope Jr.
August 23, 2020
Dear Rosie and the Klope family,
So sorry to hear about Dr. Klope’s passing.
We moved into 267 Crestwood Avenue across from Bill and Rosie In 1995. The old Hambrick house. We are still here. We raised both of our children in this house. They are now 28 and 30.
We loved living across the street. Rosie and Bill were like our pseudo parents as ours were not living here. Rosie clued me in on the history of all the families on the street.
We had a New Year’s Eve party in 1999 to usher in 2000. Bill brought his little cannon over to our lawn and let Alex set it off at midnight. So many memories. He would share his elk meat with us when he went hunting. I remember the two of them driving out in the old truck. I went to Harold Kingston’s memorial service downtown with Bill in that truck driving along Foothill, telling me all about how it used to be in Ventura when he was growing up a long time ago.
He was quite a character. Larger than life. He will be missed!
Kevin and Stephanie Flint
August 22, 2020
My condolences to the Klope family . I remember Bill from the Model A Club , he and Rosie were good friends of my grandparents Ruth Curtis , Ray and Karen Curtis . I am writing in honor of Ray and Karen as they both went to be with the Lord as well earlier this year . I remember always visiting The Klope’s house , as well as Model A club outings as a kid . My prayers and thoughts are with your family at this time.