Joan Freeland Hopper

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Joan Freeland Hopper died on Friday February 12, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Hillsborough on November 9, 1942 to Maxine Hayes Freeland and James John Freeland, she was a member of a family that has resided in Orange County since the 1700's.

Mrs. Hopper attended Hillsborough High School and Elon College. In 1961 Mrs. Hopper married James Ellis Hopper, Sr., also of Hillsborough. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Hopper lived in Orange County, where they raised their two sons. She spent her entire professional career in the management of a family-owned real estate business. Mrs. Hopper was a member of the Hillsborough Jaycettes and the Business Professional Women's Club in the 1970's. In the mid 1980's Mr. and Mrs. Hopper moved to the Croasdaile community of Durham.

Her greatest joy in life was creating joyful memories with family and friends. She especially enjoyed traveling to Aruba, Florida, and Carolina beaches. Mrs. Hopper spent many afternoons playing tennis and golf with friends of many decades. Mrs. Hopper was active with the Social Committee at Croasdaile Country Club and took great pleasure in dancing with her favorite partner. She treasured weekends at Hyco Lake, watching her children and grandchildren water ski, fish, tubing, hot tubbing, and swimming at her lake home. She enjoyed grilling and dining under the family gazebo. She loved sleeping on the family floate boat as her husband navigated home in the late evenings.

Mrs. Hopper is survived by her husband of forty-eight years, James Ellis Hopper, Sr.; son James Ellis Hopper, Jr. and daughter-in-law Deborah Underwood Hopper of Wilmington; son Jeffrey Freeland Hopper and daughter-in-law Kelly Niland Hopper of Hillsborough; grandchildren Katherine Hayes Hopper of Raleigh, Emily Victoria Hopper of Chapel Hill, Kelsey Elizabeth Hopper of Wilmington, Nicholas Niland Hopper of Hillsborough, and Julianna Niland Hopper of Hillsborough; sister Donna Lynn Freeland of Hillsborough; brother Jack Irvin Freeland of Hillsborough; sister-in-law Betty James Monk Freeland of Hillsborough; brother-in-law Robert Fagan Hopper and sister-in-law Grace Clements Hopper of Saint Simon's Island, GA; several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Clements Funeral Home in Hillsborough on Sunday February 14, 2010 from 3-5 PM. A funeral service to honor Mrs. Hopper will be held at Fairview Baptist Church on Monday February 15, 2010 at 2:00 PM. Burial will follow the funeral service at the Town of Hillsborough Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to either Fairview Baptist Church, Post Office Box 751, Hillsborough, NC 27278 -or- Duke HomeCare & Hospice, Office of Development, 4321 Medical Park Drive, Suite 101, Durham, NC 27704.

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News on Feb. 14, 2010
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