Stephen Lee Hopper
August 13, 1934- November 30, 2010
Stephen Lee Hopper was born August 13, 1934 west of Laclede in his grandparents home. He was the first son of Otha J. Hopper and Hazel Wilson Hopper. He attended school in Springfield, MO for three years and moved back to Laclede for four years, in 1945 the family moved to the Hopper home place at Sturges, Missouri with his father and stepmother. Steve graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1951 at the age of 16.
While in grade school and high school he was involved in 4-H and FFA, Methodist Youth Fellowship serving as President of Elm Street MYF and the Chillicothe-Richmond MYF
He enrolled in the University of Missouri in the fall of 1951. At the end of his second year Steve signed up for the Draft, and began training with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley Kansas in July 1953.Upon graduating from some special training, he volunteered for Korean service. He was assigned to Far East Air Force and the 841st E A Bn K-* Air base Kunsan Korea in January 1954. Here he helped build new runways and served as a communications specialist. In January 1955 Steve volunteered for the A-Bomb tests in Nevada. At less than two miles from ground zero, he endured a 40 kt blast, twice the size of Hiroshima. As a regimental wire team leader for communications he had all communications restored within two hours. In June 1955 he went home to enroll back in the University of Missouri for the fall semester.
In February 1956, Steve Hopper and Fay Wade were united in marriage at the Woodlandville Methodist Church in Boone County. Fay worked 40 hours per week; Steve worked 20-60 hours per week and carried 17 hours of college credit per semester. They moved to the Stephen Peter Hopper home place in September of 1957 where Steve entered into a work relationship with his grandfather Jess S. Hopper. They lived and worked there for three years until they entered into a new relationship with Jess S. Hopper working his way into Hopper Farms. They were the parents of five children, Stephen Mikel, born in 1958, Suzanne Fay born 1960, Mark Alan born 1961, Molly Ann born 1962 and Matthew Wade born 1966.
Steve like his father , grandfather and great grandfather was involved in community service all his life. He served as Livingston County Farm Bureau president and other offices, served as a member of the MFA
Ag Committee. He served as secretary of Chula Farmers Co-op for many years. He helped set up the Chillicothe Young Farmer group and served as their president, helped start the Farm Management group at GTRS. He spent 14 years as president of the Public Water District #2 of Livingston County. He served as a 4-H leader for 35 years and was Sunday school teacher most of his adult life. He was elected as a Soil and Water District Supervisor from Livingston County in 1983 and in 1985 he was elected area supervisor and a member of the Missouri State Association of SWCDS. He became representative of the MWNACD and a member of the National Board of NACD in 1988 and a member of the Executive Board in 1990. In there positions he met many people and made many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother David and his wife Fay preceded him in death in December 1995.
He is survived by sons, Mike Hopper and wife Penny, Mark Hopper and wife Joan, Matt Hopper and wife Sue, two daughters, Suzi Beck and husband David, Molly Comstock and husband Marty. Fifteen grandchildren, two step grand children and seven great grandchildren. Three sisters, Mrs. Ted (Ermilou) Bryan, Mrs. Charles (Mary Lynn) Owen and Mrs. Jim (Jeanne) Wilson.
Memorials in honor of Stephen Hopper may be made to Livingston County 4-H & FFA Fairground Wash Rack Project or the Livingston County 4-H Foundation and left at the funeral home or mailed to Heritage Funeral Home, 3141 N. Washington, Chillicothe, MO 64601. On-line condolences may be left at www.heritage-becausewecare.com.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 4, 2010 at Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO
A visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on December 3, 2010 at Heritage Funeral Home.
Burial will be at Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, MO.
Arrangements are under the direction of Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO.