Grace Hoppin, Esq
Fierce Intellect and Celebrated Potter, Dies at 45
Grace Hoppin, who moved to the Bay Area in 1986 and to San Francisco in 1993, died at age 45 on Saturday, September 28 after a ridiculously short and difficult battle with cancer.
A National Merit Scholar at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Grace graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley, and then worked for the U.S. Department of Labor for a few years. While living in Berkeley, she developed an interest in pottery that quickly grew to a beautiful, sophisticated mastery. Grace's pieces were incredibly wonderful works, crafted with a purity of purpose, elegance of glaze and ornamentation, and sensible functionality. She never sold her pieces, only gave them as gifts to a lucky few who continue to cherish their artistry and usefulness.
Grace's artistry at the wheel made way for other work when she was admitted to UC Hastings. Despite this loss to the art world, her real love of the law and deft command of argument were just as impressive. Through talent, hard work, and the support and encouragement of her classmates she turned in another top 10% academic performance, secured her appointment to her law journal editorial board, and ultimately became an extraordinary attorney passionate about immigration.
Grace was a key attorney for noted local immigration law firms Jackson & Hertogs LLP and Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, among others. She served honorably and in great esteem for many years as a Board Member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), earning the President's Award for achievements in the association and her contributions to the legal community. She was delighted to be given this honor, accepted for her by her colleagues in a ceremony just a few hours after her passing.
With both peers and pro bono clients, Grace was always generous with expert help and spirited encouragement for anyone in need of it.
Her passions and talent for work and craft were trumped only by her fierce devotion, love and commitment to her friends and family, and their reciprocal love and admiration were most evident over the last year.
Grace was a spirited and unapologetically independent woman who blazed her own trail through life. Grace was well known for her deep and thorough embrace of the things she loved, from the works of Joss Whedon to her collection of more than 100 pairs of designer John Fluevog's shoes (there are likely more, as we keep finding them...).
She is survived by her parents, Carolyn and George S. Hoppin III, of Scottsdale, AZ; sister Jane Hoppin of Chapel Hill, NC; sister Mary Firme, brother-in-law Matt Firme, and niece Caroline and nephew Joey of Austin, TX; dear friends Brad Post and Susan Leff, and de facto niece Sadie and nephew Frank of San Francisco.
A celebration of her impressive and fashionable life will be announced once suitable party plans are made. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund in her name at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. And please, donate blood. Often.
Grace was much beloved, and will be deeply missed.