Kermit Ann Hopper, 77, of Barbourville, Kentucky, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, January 20, 2019 with her daughters by her side. Kermit Ann was the first child born to the union of the late Kermit Melton and Sallie West Melton, formerly of Swan Pond, Kentucky. Kermit Ann, affectionately known to many as Ann, was born on July 8,1941 in Columbus, Ohio. Raised in Columbus, she graduated from Upper Arlington High School and attended Ohio State University.
Kermit Ann spent the summers of her youth in the country, visiting her maternal grandmother, Lillie West, and her dear cousins on the family farm at Swan Pond. It was one of those cherished cousins who, during Ann’s teenage years, introduced her to her future husband, Charles Franklin Hopper of Barbourville. Each year, at the conclusion of these extended family vacations, Ann faithfully returned to her educational pursuits and to her life in Ohio; however, her heart forever remained in Kentucky.
“I knew Charlie Hopper was ‘the one’ from the first day I met him, “was a recitation Ann repeated often when asked by close family members to share their love story. Kermit Ann Melton and Charles Franklin Hopper were united in marriage on March 23, 1960. They resided and worked together in Barbourville from the day that they married until Charlie’s death in 1994. With immense devotion, they served the community they loved so dearly through their work at Hopper Funeral Home. After Charlie’s death, Ann became the first woman to own and manage the century old family business. Ann’s sister, Jayne Melton Hampton, a full-time director, assumed the role of Assistant Manager at Hopper Funeral Home, working side by side with Ann to ensure that the members of the community would continue to be well taken care of in their time of need.
Much like Charlie and the other Hoppers before him, Ann was resolute in making Hopper Funeral Home her first priority for all the years she presided over the business. Ann felt that every family was her family. She strived to ensure that everyone who walked through the funeral home doors was treated with utmost respect and compassion. Addressing each family’s unique needs was of paramount importance to her. She always tried to do something extra or special for each family she served. Ann’s hallmarks define the Hopper Funeral Home of today.
Ann served the community for many years with her contributions to the Junior Women’s Study Club, the Knox County Library Board, the First United Methodist Church and both the Barbourville City School and Knox County School Systems. Ann was an environmentalist before the movement took hold, becoming interested in recycling in the early 1970s. She was a consummate homemaker who kept an open-door policy for her family, her friends, and her neighbors. She always welcomed into her home, with genuine enthusiasm and warmth, all of her daughters’ friends. Ann’s home was a happy home, filled with good food, exuberant laughter, and unlimited love.
Mrs. Hopper was preceded in death by her mother and father, Sallie West Melton and Kermit William Melton; her husband, Charles F. Hopper; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Esther Louise (Bitty) Hopper and Harry Glenn Hopper, Sr.; her son-in-law, Bennett V. York, Jr. (Victoria); her brothers-in-law, Harry Glenn Hopper, Jr. and wife, Virginia, and Donald Maurice Hopper.
Those left to mourn her passing are two daughters: Victoria York of Chicago, Illinois and Sally Hopper of Eugene, Oregon; two beloved grandsons: Bennett Van York III (Victoria) and Oscar Charles Hopper (Sally); her sister, Jayne Melton Hampton and brother-in-law, Jay Hampton of Barbourville and their son, Ann’s beloved nephew, Matthew Hampton of Independence, Kentucky. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law: Jean Hopper Wooton (Alvis) of Hudsonville, Michigan and Jean Bowling Hopper of Lantana, Florida; brother-in-law, Lewis Black Hopper (Marcia) of Barbourville; dear nieces and nephews: Terry Hopper Thompson, Harry Glenn Hopper III, Ginger Hopper Corley, Charles Lewis Wooton, Wendi Hopper Foley, Susan Wooton Miller, and Kristin Hopper Smith along with many other treasured family members and friends.
Victoria, Sally, Bennett, and Oscar loved Ann immeasurably and cherished every moment spent together. Ann was a genuinely beautiful person. Her immediate family will be forever mindful of her unconditional love for each of them, as well as her love of friends and community, which never diminished even during her most formidable challenges. Victoria, Sally, Bennett and Oscar have been truly humbled by Ann’s selflessness. Ann always thought less about herself than others. She was generous and she was kind. Ann gave joyously to others, expecting nothing in return. Ann left for her family and for those who knew and loved her, this beautiful legacy, which will live on forever.
Kermit Ann Hopper will be memorialized with an open house for her family, her friends and for her beloved community members. The open house will be held on June 29, 2019 from 4:00 until 7:00 in the evening at Hopper Funeral Home.
Expressions of sympathy for Ann and for her family can be made at Tackle ALS Team Ann Hopper. To donate, please go to https://www.tackleals.com/team/ann-hopper
This obituary announcement is courtesy of Laurel Funeral Home.
Hopper Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.
*This obituary was written by the family.