By On Patrol Staff

Hope was an apt moniker.

For decades, Bob Hope traveled the globe on USO tours, entertaining American service men and women facing peril in foreign lands and reminding them a better life was waiting back home. Often at his side was his loving wife Dolores, who passed away September 19, at 102.

Dolores and Bob Hope took their Christmas show to Takhili, Thailand, in 1966. It was on the Vietnam leg of that tour that Dolores hushed the crowd with her version of “Silent Night.” | Photo credit Photo courtesy of the Bob Hope Estate

“She was the first lady of the USO,” entertainer Carol Channing said in a statement. “They didn’t come any more patriotic, caring or talented than Dolores.”

Dolores Hope became famous for singing during her husband’s shows, notably a 1966 Christmas show in Vietnam where her version of “Silent Night” brought many to tears. She may have saved her most memorable performance for the troops for last, when she became the only woman to perform for Americans in Saudi Arabia, stealing the show with her performance of “White Christmas” during the run-up to Operation Desert Storm in 1990. It was the final overseas trip the Hopes took to entertain troops.

“The entire USO family mourns the loss of Dolores Hope, as we have admired the Hope family’s dedication to troops and their families,” USO President Sloan Gibson said. “Dolores Hope was a national treasure. As the ‘family’ that accompanied Bob Hope, she had a unique ability to lift the spirits of our troops and their families.”