On Monday evening, July 15, 2019, Heaven welcomed a new angel in Eleanor Sherrer Hopkins, who passed away at her home in Camdenton, Missouri.
Miss Ellie, who was born July 28, 1937 in Langdale, Alabama to Beulah Vickers Sherrer and Olun Sherrer, grew up enjoying the outdoor southern life of camping, fishing, cooking and taking their boat across the Chattahoochee River to garden in the Victory Garden her family planted during WWll.
Snookie, as she was affectionately called by family and friends, was extremely busy in her youth with the Girl Scouts, where she earned the Curved Bar (equivalent of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts), and where she also served as Worthy Advisor in The International Order of Rainbow Girls, a youth group for girls between the ages of 11 and 20 who are sponsored by Masonic or The Order of the Eastern Star affiliations.
Right before her senior year in high school, the family moved to Pensacola, FL where Eleanor, being the popular girl that she was, enjoyed driving her Willis Jeep around town, having bonfires on the beach with her friends, playing hooky from school and being President of the movie star Alan Ladd Fan Club.
As Eleanor enjoyed helping others, she decided at an early age that she would like to become a nurse and subsequently graduated from the Mobile Infirmary School of Nursing, Mobile, Alabama in 1960. Those days were special to Miss Ellie for not only did she get a degree in the field that she loved, but it was also where she made lifelong friends, whom she kept in touch with throughout her life. After graduation, Miss Ellie met her gentleman officer, Navy aviator Don Hopkins, at a Valentine’s dance when he was in flight school at the Navy base in Pensacola.
Marrying on July 9, 1960, Miss Ellie and Don honeymooned at Callaway Gardens, GA and began their busy life living on Naval bases along the East coast and raising their three young daughters. While Don was on duty oversees, Miss Ellie enjoyed attending coffee with the Officer’s Wives Club and knocking down pins in the local bowling league. The family moved to Brunswick, Maine where Don finished out his Navy career and began a second career as a commercial airline pilot with TWA moving the family to Kansas City where Miss Ellie worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse at North Kansas City Hospital and helped deliver 11 babies in one night. She became a school nurse following her daughters from grade school to junior high, so that when Don was out of town flying, she could play chauffeur to her daughters’ many after school activities. Ellie retired from nursing after spending 20 years as the Head Nurse of the Mother/Baby unit at Overland Park Regional Hospital.
Miss Ellie was a devoted mother and wife serving as Girl Scout Troop Leader and Cookie chairman; filling her garage with so many boxes of cookies that there wasn’t room to put the cars, Room Mom for many of her daughters’ grade school activities, driving to Dance recitals, years of traveling to weekend swim meets all over the Midwest, and where one summer she was Hospitality Chairman, making the best lemonade and fried chicken the stroke judges ever had!
And could Miss Ellie cook! Don and Ellie planted a big garden and where she stayed busy making jams and jellies, cooking, picking strawberries and peaches, canning and freezing said strawberries and peaches, making homemade ice cream, pecan and chocolate pies to give to neighbors at Christmas, and growing tomatoes so her daughters could sell them to make money to go to the state fair in Sedalia, MO every year.
When the Hopkins family moved to Leawood, Kansas in 1976, Miss Ellie saw her girls through their adolescences, the many high school activities they participated in especially the swim team when every year she would host 60 hungry girls for a lasagna dinner, and their high school and college graduations. Family vacations brought fun times in the Cayman Islands, New Orleans, Asheville, Savannah, Charleston, Branson, and vacations throughout her beloved South. She especially loved The Pointe in Phoenix, AZ where she fell in love with Turquoise jewelry and began her extensive collection of Squash Blossom necklaces.
Her second stage of life began when Miss Ellie and Don retired full time to the Lake of the Ozarks where she became involved in many activities through the Newcomers/Old Comers organization and became extensively involved with the Niangua Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), becoming their Scrapbook Chairman, and winning the National award for best scrapbook. She was very proud of her Southern heritage and became a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, due to an ancestor who lost a leg while fighting in the Civil War. Being the wonderful cook that she was and getting tired of her daughters always asking for her recipes, Miss Ellie authored 2 cookbooks to “rave reviews” from family and friends. In 2011, Miss Ellie and Don completed the circle by purchasing a small beachfront condo on Perdido Key in Pensacola, where so much started for her. She was finally able to share her love of the coast with her children and grandchildren.
Eleanor is survived by and will be held in the hearts of her husband of 59 years, Don Hopkins; her 3 daughters, Terri (Tony) Hemmerling, Scotti (Todd) Oelklaus and Traci Hopkins; and her 2 grandchildren, Caroline and Matthew Chilton.
A Celebration of Life reception will be held at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Camdenton, Mo on Saturday, July 20, 3:00pm-4:00pm