Louisew Gilliam Hopkins of Ashland died March 11

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Louise Gilliam Hopkins of Ashland died peacefully at home, surrounded by her children, on the evening of March 11, 2019.

The widow of Robert Lee Hopkins Jr., she is survived by her daughter, Louise Fontaine Hopkins (Steve Crain), and her son, Robert Lee Hopkins III.

Born and reared in Lexington, “Lula,” as she was affectionately known, was the daughter of Frank Johnson Gilliam, who was the dean at Washington and Lee University, and Cora Louise Johnson Gilliam. Her two brothers, Frank and Fontaine, predeceased her. Both the Gilliams and Johnsons resided in Lynchburg, where her maternal grandmother, Louise Augusta Glass Johnson, presided over a large extended family that provided Lula with many happy childhood memories.

A graduate of Chatham Hall Preparatory School in Chatham and Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, the first years of her marriage were spent in various cities in and outside of Virginia. Then, in 1969, the family moved to Ashland where they raised their two children, Louise and Lee, and remained for the duration of their lives.

Lula was a devoted member of St. James the Less Episcopal Church, where she served a term as senior warden. A lover of flowers, she was chairman of the church’s alter guild as well as a member of the Ashland Garden Club and the Garden Club of Virginia, which awarded her their highest honor, the Massie Medal for Distinguished Service.

In Ashland, Lula was known as the person to call if you wanted to know what was going on in the community. This did not include gossip but did embrace the lives of the local wildlife, which she tracked with amused interest. She will be remembered for a sharp mind (which membership in three different bridge clubs helped her to maintain) and a gentle spirit, shaped by impeccable manners and an understanding heart.

A memorial service will be held at St. James the Less Episcopal Church, 125 Beverly Road, Ashland, on Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow, after which friends and family are invited back to the Hopkins house.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Church of St. James the Less or the Garden Club of Virginia Committee for Restoration, 12 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219.

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