Judith W. Hopkins died on May 17, 2023, in her own bed at Kendal in Lexington.

Born 90-something years ago in Georgia, she spent most of her childhood in Alabama before migrating north to attend Hollins College. There she was in the Philosophy Club (which will surprise no one who ever had a conversation with her) and graduated with honors from Hollins in 1954 with a bachelor of arts in French. Her impressive scholarship and well-rounded character led to her being offered the first Fulbright Scholarship Hollins had achieved, which honor she turned down in order to get married. Her French professor cried.

Married in 1955 to Garland J. Hopkins Jr., she worked for several years as a secretary before having three children inside of three years. The next 25 years were filled with the adventures of raising these children, primarily in the Virginia countryside, and making it possible for her husband to build a successful contracting business while she volunteered with the Junior League and other local projects.

Vacation in the ‘60s and ‘70s generally meant crewing for glider contests or spending 10 days in the Bahamas on a homemade 23-foot sailboat with Garland and the aforementioned children.

Relocating to a more rural Craig County farm in the late 1970s, she learned how to drive a tractor, put up hay and manage a cow-calf operation which she downsized to a pygmy-goat herd when the free farm labor all graduated from school and/or left home for uncertain intervals.

Garland retired, then started a new endeavor of his own in the mid-80s, at which point Judy learned to bid jobs and manage the bookkeeping of Mechanical Balancing.

Preceded in death by her husband in 1989, she continued to reign over the lovely country home that was a favorite gathering place for family, friends, various pets (both wild and domestic), friends of children and children of friends for the next 36 years. Travels to Africa and

England provided fodder for more entertaining stories.

Persuaded finally, with some difficulty, to cease living by herself in the country, she moved to Kendal at Lexington in early 2015. There she re-invented herself, not for the first time, and made fast friends. Her love of flowers and arranging came with her along with the julep cups won in Garden Club shows under the tutelage of her dear sister-in-law, Nancy Mahone. She loved nothing better than a collection of roadside flowers and weeds that could be crafted into something lovely for all to enjoy.

Time and again, she rose like a phoenix from hospital beds, fractures and illnesses by sheer force of will. Presiding over lively supper discussions with a glass of white wine (on ice!), she impressed everyone who knew her with her wit, wisdom and kindness until a few hours before she died. Always able to put herself “in someone else’s moccasins,” she could find common ground with anyone - though she would tolerate neither fools nor being patronized. The stories are legion.

Judy was predeceased by her brother, Frank Wilhoit, her sister, Kay Offutt, her husband Garland and her son Robert Whittle Hopkins.

She is survived by a daughter, K. Douglass Hopkins, son-in-law, David Somers and a son, Garland James Hopkins III, as well as six nieces, six nephews, nine great-nieces, eight great-nephews, five great-great-nieces, five greatgreat- nephews, and friends too numerous to count.

Services will be tomorrow, May 25, beginning with committal on Godwin Hill in Fincastle at 11 a.m., followed by a memorial service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 11:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends be mindful of the needs of others, human or animal, and help those who need helping.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory. N-G

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