Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past

Photo of Russell Lowell Hoppes.
Courtesy of Author's own collection.
Russell Lowell Hoppes was born on December 21, 1911 in Van Buren, Madison County, Indiana. He was the 10th child of 12 born to George Washington Hoppes (1865-1930) and Sarah Jane Dickerson (1869-1967). Russell Lowell Hoppes married Fern Josephine Thorn in 1929 in Madison County, Indiana. They went on to have two children, one of which is still living today. Their other child and only son, was my paternal grandfather, Chancy Clifford Hoppes (1932-2006). Grandpa Hoppes died on February 16, 1997. in Muskegon, Michigan.

Russell Lowell Hoppes was a Wesleyan minister and church builder. He was an Architect and drew the blueprints for several churches built in Indiana and Michigan. He was a Member of the Board at Indiana Wesleyan University. Grandpa was instrumental in building dozens of churches. He was known as the "Weeping Pastor". A Weeping Willow was planted on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University in his honor. He had a very loving and quiet disposition. His personality can best be describes as introspective and sincere. He was very studious and loved not only reading his Bible but studying it. He had a massive library of theology books that he also studied. He enjoyed photography and had a fairly extensive collection of cameras. He also enjoyed fishing and enjoyed many trips to lakes in both Michigan and Canada. He was a great man of God and one of my ancestors I wish I would have been able to get to know more while he was with us.

Grandma Fern Josephine Thorn was born on December 15, 1914, in Jonesboro, Grant County, Indiana. She was the middle of three girls born to Arlie Monroe Thorn (1881-1962) and Julia Frances DeLong (1893-1968). She went home to her heavenly Father after a long life of devoted service on August 7, 1998, in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, where she lived with her daughter.

Grandma Hoppes was a very caring and loving person. She enjoyed traveling with her husband and together they made several trips to The Holy Land. She had a heart for international mission work. She was a very animated person but also very proper. She did much of what is expected of a pastor's wife and did it well. She would take pies to the shut-ins of the church. She was a loving wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, grandmother, and friend to all who knew her.

My great-grandparents have a very interesting Salvation story. Grandpa and Grandma were going to a friends house one evening to play cards and on the way they went by a church that was holding tent revival services. They decided to go to the church to see what was going on. That night both of my great-grandparents received Jesus as their personal Savior. They neither one lost their passion for working for the Lord. They traveled extensively and had a heart for missions. I am sure Heaven was greatly blessed when these two individuals went Home to meet their Savior. I'm sure Grandpa had a hanky in both hands and a spare in every pocket when he meet his Redeemer. I know the Bible says there won't be tears in Heaven, but I am pretty sure Grandpa cried tears of Joy when he met Jesus face-to-face.

Source: The recollections of the Author's aunt, father, and grandmother.

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