Cover photo for Robert Charles Hopper's Obituary
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Robert Charles Hopper

March 10, 1937 — December 7, 2023

Sylva

Robert Charles Hopper

Reverend Robert C. Hopper was born in Spartanburg, SC on March 10, 1937. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elbert Columbus “Spot” Hopper and Faye Thomas Hopper of Spartanburg, SC,  and his sister, Susan Hopper Love, of Clover, SC.

 He is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Carolyn Hawkins Hopper, of Sylva, NC; his twin brother, Reverend Richard Hopper of Spartanburg, SC.; his sons, Russell Hopper of Charleston, SC, and Elliott Hopper of Murfreesboro, TN; and his grandchildren Caroline and Mason Hopper.

Reverend Hopper entered the Methodist ministry after completing undergraduate studies at Wofford College and earning a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, class of 1964.

He was ordained and came into full connection with the South Carolina United Methodist Conference in 1964 at Lake Junaluska. He became the Associate Pastor at Cherokee Place United Methodist Church in Charleston Heights, North Charleston, SC. His particular passion for ministry in the form of service took shape early in his career as he founded the Inner-City Ministry in Charleston Heights.

In 1968 he accepted the position of Regional Director for the South Carolina Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. In this capacity he oversaw counseling programs throughout the state.

As a civil servant, Reverand Hopper took pride in his work as the president of the Sullivan’s Island Elementary School PTA, and member of the Sullivan’s Island Town Council.

He later returned to the ministry, serving the congregations of Gordon Memorial UMC and Greenbriar UMC in Winnsboro, SC, and Hopewell UMC in Lancaster, SC. His favorite projects included the construction of Family Life Centers at Gordon Memorial UMC and Hopewell UMC. The marriage of his practical skills, passion for mentoring, and call to service was manifested in his service as co-director of the Salkehatchie Summer Camps in Winnsboro and Lancaster, connecting young parishioners with communities in need of restoration, accessibility upgrades, and general home maintenance.

Reverend Hopper retired and settled in Sylva, NC, in 2004. In retirement, he continued his life of service as Minister of Visitation for several years at Sylva First United Methodist Church. He particularly enjoyed assisting with church ramp building projects.

Reverend Hopper was an avid woodworker, semi-professional photographer, and private pilot. He constructed countless pieces of art and furniture, always eager to experiment and share his experience with others.

Reverend Hopper’s family acknowledge the generous support of family and friends. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, the family suggests donations to Salkehatchie Summer Service through the South Carolina United Methodist Conference, 4908 Colonial Drive, Columbia SC 29203; umcsc.org/salkehatchie. A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Revered Hopper will be planned for a future date, to be held at Sylva First United Methodist Church.

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First United Methodist Church

77 Jackson St, Sylva, NC 28779

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