Mrs. Ila Marie Hopping, age 95, of Timewell, Illinois passed away at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Heritage Health, Therapy and Senior Care in Mt. Sterling.
She was born October 5, 1923 in Sullivan, Indiana to Admiral Dewey Birchfield and Charline Ethel (Crick) Birchfield. She married Melvin Hopping in Havana, Illinois on July 4, 1948 and they moved to a farm near Timewell. He preceded her in death on December 23, 1979.
Ila graduated from Havana Community High School in 1942.
Mrs. Hopping joined the Civil Defense and went through training at Fort Masac and then worked at Curtiss Wright Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri where they built military aircraft during World War II. She later worked at ABC Washing Machine Plant in Peoria, Illinois and at Middlestates Telephone Company in Havana as a supervisor.
She was a founding member of the First Lutheran Church of Mt. Sterling where she had served as chairman of the alter committee, a substitute teacher and was a past member of the Ladies Aide Society which she had held offices of president and vice president.
She was instrumental in organizing class reunions for her high school class, for which she served as secretary.
Ila belonged to the farm bureau and was an associate member of the 45th Infantry Division Association and was a past member of the Legion Auxiliary in Timewell. She, along with her husband, are included in the archives at the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Hopping was a published poet and had won numerous awards. Her work has appeared in World of Poetry, Hannibal Writer’s Club, Sparrow Grass Forum, Ladies Quarterly Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, The National Library of Poetry and several newspapers. In October of 1966, she was elected into The International Poetry Hall of Fame.
Ila enjoyed her cats, reading, doing crosswords and researching genealogies, which she had been working on five different families. She kept the records and histories of her graduating class and her church along with picture collections of each.
Survivors include a step daughter, Joyce Peterson of Kaufman, Texas, a daughter, Lila Charlene Lerch (Jim) of Mt. Sterling and two sons, Dana of Rushville and Michael of Timewell. Four grandchildren Jennifer Blaesing (Jim) of Mt. Sterling, Sarah Ruppel (Kevin) of Oakford, Illinois, and Gary and Greg Aaron both from Texas. Nine great grandchildren including Logan, Alexa and Mia and Jackson, Alanna, Ryder and Gauge also survive.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Raymond Page and Herbert Birchfield and two sisters Lila Stocke and Louise Page Pickering.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in the Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling with Rev. Tom Baker officiating.
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in the Laurel Hills Cemetery in Havana, Illinois.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to the First Lutheran Church of Mt. Sterling or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Condolences for the family may be left on line at www.hendrickerfuneralhome.com.
The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is in charge of the arrangements.
Mount Sterling First Lutheran Church
Charity of the Donors Choice