Louise Gilliam Hopkins
February 29, 1932 – March 11, 2019
Louise Gilliam Hopkins, of Ashland, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her children, on the evening of March 11, 2019. The widow of Robert Lee Hopkins, Jr., she is survived by her daughter, Louise Fontaine Hopkins (Steve Crain) and her son, Robert Lee Hopkins, III.
Born and reared in Lexington, Virginia, "Lula," as she was affectionately known, was the daughter of Frank Johnson Gilliam, who was the Dean of Washington & Lee University, and Cora Louise Johnson Gilliam. Her two brothers, Frank and Fontaine, predeceased her. Both the Gilliams and Johnsons resided in Lynchburg, Virginia, where her maternal grandmother, Louise Augusta Glass Johnson presided over a large extended family which provided Lula with many happy childhood memories.
A graduate of Chatham Hall Preparatory School in Chatham, Virginia and Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, the first years of her marriage were spent in various cities in and outside of Virginia. Then, in 1969, the family moved to Ashland where they raised their two children, Louise and Lee, and remained for the duration of their lives.
Lula was a long-time, devoted member of St. James Episcopal Church, where she served a term as the Senior Warden. A lover of flowers, she was chairman of the Church's altar guild as well as a member of the Ashland Garden Club and the Garden Club of Virginia which awarded her their highest honor, The Massie Medal for Distinguished Service.
In Ashland, Lula was known as the person to call if you wanted to know what was going on in the community. This did not include gossip but did embrace the lives of the local wildlife which she tracked with amused interest. She will be remembered for a sharp mind (which membership in three different bridge clubs helped her to maintain) and a gentle spirit, shaped by impeccable manners and an understanding heart.
A memorial service will be held at St. James the Less Episcopal Church, 125 Beverly Road, Ashland, on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. Reception to follow after which friends and family are invited back to the Hopkins house at 600 Duncan Street.
At a date to be announced later, the family will hold a graveside service at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Church of St. James the Less or the Garden Club of Virginia Committee for Restoration, 12 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
St. James the Less Episcopal Church
125 Beverly Road