Ellen J Tope


Ellen J. Tope, 86, of Grinnell, passed away on Monday, September 11, 2023, at UnityPoint Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines with her family by her side. A private family burial will be held at a later date. Memorials for Ellen can be made out in her name and sent in care of Cox-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service, PO Box 163, Grinnell, Iowa 50112.

 Ellen was born on May 6, 1937, to Eugene and Josephine (Kliegel) Fitzgerald in Emmetsburg, Iowa. She graduated from Emmetsburg High School. On May 17, 1958, she was united in marriage to Allen “Kenny” Tope in Emmetsburg. The couple lived there for several years. In 1986, the couple made Grinnell their home. Ellen was a cook for the Grinnell school district. She loved seeing the students and it showed. After retiring from the school district, she became the hostess at the Grinnell Steakhouse. Her personality and smile was one of a kind.

 She was a people person; anyone could see that in her. Ellen was always dressed up and ready to go! She always looked forward to having friends over and playing cards. The dinners she would make for her family and friends were the best. She truly loved cooking and was very family oriented. Her family meant everything to her.

 Ellen’s smile will be remembered by her children, Julie (Brad) Brooks of Nevada, Kathy Tope of Nevada, Tim Tope of Des Moines and Janet Tope of San Diego, California; grandchildren Jeffrey, Joni, Jullian (Bryce) Black, Melissa, Jessica, Kristopher (Rachel) Joseph and Michael; great grandchildren, Dakota, Mylee, Devyn, Brooks, Banks and Bristol; her siblings, Ann (Ray) Godard, John (Mary) Fitzgerald, Joe Fitzgerald and Gene Fitzgerald; and several dear friends.

 She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Allen “Kenny” Tope; two sisters, Mary and Margaret; one brother, David; and her grandson, Tony Kammin.