Jessie Laura Hopp passed away February 20, 2018, at the age of 97 at Highgate Senior Living in Yakima.
Laura was born on October 5, 1920, in Castor, Alberta, Canada, to Harry Hansen and Grace Bartley. In 1922, they moved to College Place, Washington, with Laura’s newborn sister Jeanne. They lived in The Dalles and Portland before settling in Longview, WA, in 1924. Brother, Lewis, was born in 1925.
Laura’s family was deeply impacted by the Great Depression, compounded by an injury to Harry sustained on the job. She graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1938. She completed her first two years of college at Lower Columbia Junior College before transferring to the University of Washington Nursing School in March 1941. Graduating in 1943, she worked in Seattle and Longview.
In 1947, she returned to the UW to obtain a public health nursing certificate. It was at this time that she met Blaine Hopp, a law student at the UW. Returning to Longview while Blaine worked in Seattle, they entered a long distance relationship until they married on August 1, 1948, and settled in Longview.
In late 1950, they moved to Yakima. Laura started what was to be a longtime love and interest – her work in the League of Women Voters. This interest may have stemmed from her meeting Eleanor Roosevelt in the 40’s. Sister Jeanne was in charge of a reception for the First Lady and Laura was there to help. Laura was elected president of the League in the early 50’s as well as in her later retired years. (Her time involved with the League was shortened due to Blaine’s 20 years serving as a Superior Court Judge.) Laura worked as a Registered Nurse and taught at the YVCC nursing program as a clinical instructor. Laura was also very active at Englewood Christian Church.
In March 1954, Laura & Blaine were thrilled to start their family with the adoption of Erik. A year later Robert was born. In 1959, Richard was born. Shortly after in 1961, they also fostered Wanda, a 17 year old, adding her to their hearts and family. Laura’s great love was her family -- her children, grandchildren, and her nieces and nephews. She was always proud and excited to relay what individuals were doing.
Laura & Blaine spent nearly 64 years together until his passing in 2012. Laura was the last surviving member of her birth family. She is survived by Wanda (Paul) Halsey, Erik (Sherlyn), Robert (Jennifer), Richard (Dana), eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Highgate Senior Living and Living Care Center for their kind and loving care of Blaine and Laura in their final years.
A Celebration of Life for Laura is planned for March 31 at 1 pm at Englewood Christian Church. All are welcome.
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