Rev James William Hopper

Reverend James William Hopper, of Alcoa, Tennessee, passed away Monday, May 18, 2020 with only two days remaining until his 95th birthday. After a lengthy battle with cancer, he died peacefully in his sleep in the home he shared with his beloved wife, Gracene, whom he married in 2003. Rev. Hopper was born May 20, 1925 to Landon and Myrtle Hopper. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in the Navy. He opened a dry-cleaning business in Rutledge after returning from the war. Upon answering the call to the ministry, he pastored churches in Grainger, Knox, Carter and Blount counties, even as he struggled to complete his education, eventually earning his degree from Carson-Newman. Although he semi-retired from the ministry some 18 years ago, he served as a member of Broadway Baptist Church. As his health declined, his attendance continued, following the services on TV. He shared his love for God and family wherever he was. He was preceded in death by his parents; and first wife, Dent, to whom he was married for 52 years. Rev. Hopper is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Gracene of Alcoa; one daughter, Lynda and husband, Ted; two grandchildren, Julie and Max; four great-grandchildren, Elisabeth, Dustin, Madialynne and Rachel; completing five generations are those who knew him as “Poppy,” his six great-great grandchildren, Kole, Kyli, Ella, Ava, Nora and Jacob; stepchildren, Steve Cottrell and wife, Joyce, Vickie Robbins; and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Broadway Baptist Church, 2329 E. Broadway Avenue, Maryville, TN 37803. Special thanks to Blount Memorial Hospice nurses, Emily, Hiroko and Audria. A private graveside service will be held with Dr. Tony Collins officiating. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, (865) 983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.