(May 5, 1919 - Oct. 5, 2011)
Zona Elizabeth Hopkin Roper died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. She was 92.
Zona died at the Powell Valley Care Center, where she resided for the past few years. She will be remembered as a wonderful wife, loving mother, extraordinary grandmother and friend to many. Her kindness, humor and devotion to her religion have been admired and will be missed.
Zona was born in Penrose on May 5, 1919. The fourth child of Frederick and Elizabeth Wilson Hopkin, she attended grade school in Penrose and went to Powell schools after the schools consolidated, graduating in 1936.
In 1937 she attended BYU until March of 1940. She enjoyed her classes at BYU, especially English and Literature — studying to be a teacher. During this time she consented to go on a blind date with a handsome gentleman from Oak City, Utah, and that date changed her fate forever.
She married Thurman W. (Sam) Roper on June 21, 1940 in Oak City, Utah. They began their married life in a one room section house in Jericho, Utah, where Sam worked for the railroad.
Their first child, Donna, was born in Oak City. While expecting their second child, they moved to Powell to work on the Hopkin Farm. Sam and Zona and three daughters eventually moved to the Powell North End.
Zona had the heart of a true farm girl, so it was not surprising that there were milk cows, chickens and sheep and the like to provide for their growing family. Zona sold the cream from Sam’s milk cows for extra spending money. There was always a large garden and canning to be done at the time of harvest.
Sam worked for Garland Light and Power while Zona stayed at home and took care of the needs of their family. The family consisted of seven girls until finally, in 1959, they broke the mold and had their first and only son, Bert. Two more girls followed and the family was a dozen strong. Eventually expanding even more with sons-in-law and grandchildren and more the family remained tight knit with Zona being the hub that made the family wheel connected.
Zona was dedicated and served in several capacities for her church. Sam and Zona were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple on June 11, 1966. They also shared a commitment with other Powell parents of disabled children and helped form the Powell Chapter of the Wyoming ARC.
Once the family grew more independent, Zona went to work at the Powell nursing home. She enjoyed her years of employment and was a compassionate caregiver and coworker. When it was time for retirement, Sam and Zona were fortunate to travel to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with friends and Gore, Okla., where they spent time with daughter, Libby. They were also able to follow many of their grandchildren’s events.
Special times for the couple were spent square-dancing where they made many more friends and were able to share this pleasure with daughters and sons-in-law, Diane and John Spomer and Dorthy and Jack Edmonds.
It came as heartbreak for Zona to lose her partner of 54 years on Jan. 14, 1995. But true to her character, she learned to adapt and continue to live life. Sad to leave her farm life, she knew it would be best for her to move into town. She spent the rest of her days happily traveling, visiting with family and friends and ultimately awaiting her time to join her beloved Sam.
She is survived by daughters: Donna Gimmeson, Diane Spomer (John), Dorthy Edmonds, Zona Gale Kraus (Irvin), Elizabeth Cook, Mary Johnson (Kyle), Rhonda Roper, Shelly Harvey (Fred), Christie Barron (David) and son Bert Roper (Tina); 25 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Burchell Hopkin (Ruby); sister-in-law, Alyce Hopkin and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thurman W. (Sam); infant twin granddaughters; son-in-law Jack Edmonds; granddaughter Kelly Barron; her parents Fred and Elizabeth Hopkin; brothers Fred Hopkin and Harold Hopkin; sisters Fay Smith and Mary Simian.
Viewing will be at 9 a.m., with funeral services at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Avenue E Church of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Burial will be at Penrose Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to ARC Regional Services, 1150 N. 3rd St. Laramie, WY, 82072 or the charity of choice.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.