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Sunday, December 31, 2023
2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)
Esther Ruth (Horton) Hopper was born in Galveston, Texas to George and Constance Horton on December 13, 1925. Her early years were spent in Galveston while her father finished medical school. She had many fond memories of her childhood there including frequent rides on the carousel at the pier and lazy days on the seawall and beach.
Her father became a surgeon and moved the family, including his wife, a college professor in biology, Esther and her two sisters, Connie and Dorothy, to the Congo in the 1930’s. He served as a medical missionary for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), training the native population to become doctors and nurses. As a young teen Esther occasionally assisted in surgeries and helped her mother with hygiene and child rearing classes. She never tired of sharing stories about her experiences growing up in Africa.
The family returned home during World War II. She trained and volunteered as an airplane spotter. She enrolled in high school but found herself awkwardly out of tune with the other high school teenagers. Esther married a GI, Willard Frey, and had her first child, Jean while he was stationed in Hawaii. Esther subsequently had four more children, Susan, George, John and Kathi. After marrying Thomas Neil Hopper in 1969, she adopted his daughter, Tammy. During her child rearing years, she was active in school and Girl Scout activities, and taught swimming to the handicapped. Tom preceded her in death in July of 2016. They were married for 47 years. Esther is survived by her six children, 15 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren, one sister, Dorothy Roberts and cousin, Robert Pratt and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Esther had a number of careers including working as an associate editor of Unity Church’s Wee Wisdom magazine; associate editor of the Saturday Evening Post; and as a freelance editor. She was an adventurer and lived in numerous places around the world including Vancouver, British Columbia; Aukland, New Zealand; and on a boat in San Diego. Having made a promise, she even went sky-diving for her 75th birthday. She was a Texan at heart and loved her forever home in Winnsboro, Texas where she enjoyed working at the Blessing Box thrift store, serving the Disciples of Christ Church of Winnsboro, the lively discussions at her book club, her daughter, loving her dog, Gidget, spending time with the grands, and helping wrangle the guinea hens into their pen at night. Although plagued with neuropathy and arthritis, she would never say she could not do something. She would just say that she would have to figure out another way to do it. And she usually did.
Esther was a woman of great faith and freely shared her love for God with everyone. She had a passion for service as evidenced by her commitment to the Blessing Box at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Winnsboro. In lieu of flowers the family invites you to consider a contribution to the Blessing Box.