Shirley Lee Hopper

Shirley “Mom” Lee Brown Hopper was a devoted wife to William Freeman Hopper, Jr. and and faithful, loving mother to Melinda Jane Hopper.  Shirley, 86, battled myelodyplastic disease for about four years and passed away peacefully on November 29, 2014 in Rochester, NY, to join her beloved sisters, Equa Ihnen and Norma Fitzpatrick.  Shirley and Freeman had been married for 62 wonderful years, filled with fond memories, mostly in Collinsville, Illinois. 

Shirley was born in Plymouth, Illinois and grew up in Golden, Illinois where she graduated from Golden High School.  Western Illinois University in Malcomb, Illinois, was her alma mater.  Shirley’s career included teaching in Alton, Illinois, Knoxville, Tennessee and in Collinsville, Illinois.  In addition, she worked in the audiology department at the Central Institute of the Deaf in support of Melinda’s education there.  Toward the end of her teaching career, she taught 3rd – 4th grades and retired in 1992.  Shirley was an extremely passionate teacher, her teaching having inspired many elementary students and a number of them have contacted her in recent years to express their gratitude for some life-long lessons.  Shirley was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in Collinsville, Illinois.

Freeman and Mindy forever embrace, Mom’s love, wisdom, and loyalty to her students and family.  May she rest in peace with God.

Remembrances and support may be sent to the MDS Foundation, 4573 South Broad St. Suite 150, Yardville, NJ 08620 ( or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105  (

Barry Wilson Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. 

Go Back >>