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We all lost a brilliant, interesting and dedicated friend rather suddenly on September 10, 2012, James Allison Hopper. Jim died peacefully at home with his beloved Kim at his side. His grown children James Benjamin, Mary Allison and Christian Vaughn Hopper as well as family members Fred and Suzanne Sherman, Doug and Pam Roehm, Beverly and Wilbur Creelman and all nine grandchildren plus one great-grandchild will miss him sorely as he spent a good part of every year participating in their lives. Jim was never one to skimp on sharing love with friends and family.
Jim was born in Boston in 1938 moving to St. Louis, MO, and then to Wichita, KS, as he grew up. He was proud to be appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1956 graduating as a second lieutenant in 1960. He joined the ranks of Special Forces and served honorably in Laos and Panama before temporarily leaving the military to go to law school. Returning to active duty, he served again in Japan and at the Pentagon until 1976. Jim then served as a civilian in Teheran, Iran, until the revolution when he finally took the second to last evacuation plane out. Civilian service continued in LaHore, Pakistan, in 1980 and in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 2000.
Jim and Kim met in Heidelberg, Germany, and married in 1987. They lived happily together in Saudi Arabia for the next 13 years. While living and working in Saudi they bought a home in The Valley, Kim's 1970s stomping ground. Through all of his travels, Jim cherished his family and loved spending time with friends from “here, there and everywhere.” Eventually, they moved into their home here full time in 2000.
Jim made no bones about his love-hate relationship with Vermont – loved those summers and falls, hated those long winter months. Obviously, he wasn’t a skier. He loved golf and enjoyed being a swimming coach in Saudi Arabia and spending those long, dark Vermont months in North Carolina with his family. He also loved to read and to sip scotch with his friends while often entertaining as a charming raconteur.
He may have had mixed feelings about our Vermont seasons, but he had no such conflict with us. Jim was a great lover of his friends and was not shy about showing that. A caring, funny, reverent man, he will be missed by so many of us.
In lieu of flowers, Kim and Jim request that any donations be sent to Hope Lodge, American Cancer Society, 211 East Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401, where they received kindness, fellowship and great comfort during the last year.