Submitted by his Family
Jerry Wayne Hopper (10/02/1943-1/11/2005) Beloved Husband‚ Father‚ Grandfather and Friend was born on October 2‚ 1943 near the Cabo Community where he lived his entire life. He was the son of the late Otis L. Hopper and the late Elsie Connor Hopper Gray. He attended schools in Chester County. In his earlier years he worked at Bailey Brothers Trucking‚ Chester County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy and the State of Tennessee. He was an active member of the Masons‚ Initiated February 8‚ 1968‚ Passed March 2‚ 1968 and Raised April 25‚ 1988 and had served as Master Mason.
Jerry was a Forestry Technician with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture‚ Department of Forestry. He had served the Dept. of Forestry for 28 years. He loved his job and devoted countless hours to serving his position from building roads to fighting forest fires. He always participated in the annual Christmas Parade where he proudly escorted ‘Smokey the Bear.’
Jerry was a very respected and revered member of the community‚ having served in various capacities. Jerry was member of the Election Commission. In 1976‚ he served as security and assisted with many aspects of the filming of the first series of ‘Walking Tall’ movies which were filmed in Chester County. He also had a small part in the actual movie itself.
Jerry never knew a stranger‚ finding a friend in everyone he met. In crowds‚ he always managed to meet someone new and enjoyed getting to know them. He thrived on telling and listening to stories of old times (especially those told by family members) and putting a smile on the face of everyone he met. He was a wonderful listener and an avid peacemaker. A simple man‚ he never wanted great riches‚ considering himself a wealthy man with all his beloved family and friends.
He grew up in the Pentecostal Faith and was a member of the Stone Hill Pentecostal Church.
He married Emmadean Hatch in 1976‚ and they made their home near his home place‚ near Sand Mountain. They have two children‚ Misti Michelle Hopper Ellis (Jeremy) and Mark Rowland (Martha). He found in Emma his soul mate‚ eternal love and best friend. He loved her special cooking and offered his undying love to her throughout their 28 years together. He loved her family as though they were his own. He always supported Emma in her care and love of her parents (Ulyss G. Hatch (deceased) and Frances Beshires Hatch)‚ attending to many of their needs himself.
His family was the most important addition to his life. His 16 month old granddaughter‚ Braelyn Keira Ellis‚ was the joy of his heart and the apple of his eye. ‘Papa Jerry’ was her constant companion and her biggest cheerleader in all the things she did‚ including all her little beauty pageants. He took such pride showing her off to others in person and in photos. He loved snugging with her and getting and giving hugs and kisses. He believed he was blessed with the opportunity to relive his daughter’s life with him as a child through his granddaughter.
His daughter Misti Hopper Ellis (‘Michelle’ to him) was his pride and joy and he adored her from the bottom of his heart. She was a very vital part of his life and the ‘Light of his Life’.
His son‚ Mark Rowland‚ whom he loved dearly‚ brought much joy to his life and was his devoted son and treasured friend. They shared many interests including gardening and fishing.
He was also ‘Papaw Jerry’ to his ‘adopted’ grandchildren‚ James and Andrew Graves of Jackson‚ TN. He spent much time on countless outings with these treasured little boys.
Other special people in his life were: Judge Howard Bailey (deceased)‚ Billy Coatney (deceased)‚ Jonathan Kelley-dear little neighbor Friend‚ Aunt Oda Connor of Lexington‚ TN‚ Aunt Polly Daily of Decaturville.
He was an avid gardener and loved to share with his neighbors and friends. He loved the beaches of Destin‚ Florida‚ where he had spent numerous vacations.