Hopper, James Daniel
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64, passed away August 7, 2012 in Fairbanks, AK. James was born May 2, 1948 in Mount Kisco, NY. James had a distinguished military career in the US Army, having served in Vietnam from 1970-1971. He was a helicopter pilot and he obtained a Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. James enjoyed many hobbies and interests including flying, fishing, snorkeling, bird collecting and gardening. Surviving family members include his wife Melinda Hopper of Grandview, MO, sisters Delores Andrade of Costa Mesa, CA, Alice DiMaggio of Tempe, AZ and Cathy Parker of Loveland, CO, brothers Andy Olson of Tempe, AZ, Scott Olson of Scottsdale, AZ and Robert Hopper of San Francisco, CA. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 14th at 10:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints, 6001 S. Lakeshore Dr. in Tempe. The family has issued the following statement in regards to Jim: Jim was our brother and we were very proud of his accomplishments. The one thing that brings us peace is knowing he died doing what he loved-flying. As long as we can remember, he wanted to fly and along came Vietnam and the Army granted his wish. One of the things we loved most about Jim was
how he responded to his Vietnam experience. Despite all of the violence and mayhem around him, he never lost his humanity-giving Hershey bars to VC prisoners hoping they'd remember being treated decently by an American.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 14, 2012