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Virginia Kay "Jinny" Hopp

April 26, 1945 June 24, 2020
Virginia Kay "Jinny" Hopp
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Obituary for Virginia Kay "Jinny" Hopp

Virginia Kay “Jinny” Huggard Hopp, 75, Carthage, Missouri, passed away late Wednesday evening, June 24, 2020 at her home. Born on April 26, 1945 in Piedmont, Oklahoma; Jinny was the second oldest of seven children, whose parents were Arthur and Evelyn (Washecheck) Huggard.

Jinny graduated from Piedmont High School, Piedmont, Oklahoma, class of 1963. In the following Fall, she began studies in Family Relations and Child Development at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. Jinny received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1967.

During this period, she met Allan “Dale” Hopp, who was nearing completion of a Bachelor of Science degree. They were married at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Stillwater on January 25, 1967.

While husband Dale was completing a master’s degree, Jinny worked in the university’s childcare center. Dale completed his degree and the couple began the step of their life together. It was at this point that they relocated to Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. During the next three years, Jinny finished a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Development while husband Dale received his Doctoral degree.

The saga of two interwoven lives continued in 1970. Jinny and her husband were both offered and accepted teaching positions at a new community college at Prince George in the heart of British Columbia. There they spent five wonderful years. It was the first experience living in a different country.

Adventure called again and Dale yielded to a long-time dream of being a small business owner in the state of Washington. The next 12 years of their lives Dale lectured to the public, his new students, on the intricacies of making and the use of fine brier pipes and “high grade” cigars. Jinny stayed in the background, being content to manage the books for the business.

After selling the business in 1987, the couple moved to West Plains, Missouri, purchased “This Old House,” circa 1885 and operated it as a Bed and Breakfast for the next 3 years.

Feeling the tug of her next adventure, Jinny returned to her original career in Early Childhood Development. She became a trainer for Air Force Child Development Programs at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. This was a natural fit for her since she had already influenced the aspirations of many young women pursuing a career in early childhood education at the College of New Caledonia in British Columbia.

Her next two decades were filled with yet more adventures. The next move would be a half world away when she accepted the position of Director of Child Development at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The experience of living in a different culture was, to say the least, a most stimulating experience for both Jinny and Dale. After 4 years, the couple came back to America where Jinny accepted a similar position at Hanscomb Air Force Base, outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

A year later found Jinny and Dale back in Missouri. Jinny accepted a position with the University of Missouri Extension Service, working as a human development specialist in Jasper County.

At this point, it was no surprise that the couple decided to embark on one more “overseas” adventure. It began when she accepted a civilian position with the United States Air Force at Mildenhall Air Base in England. Retirement from there came in 2010. After this work experience, they returned to Carthage, Missouri to stay.

Jinny had many talents and hobbies. During her mid years, her hobbies included family history research as well as extensive interest in fiber arts where she exhibited obvious adeptness at spinning, weaving and fiber construction.

Retirement was a blessing that allowed more time for genealogy research. Jinny did extensive study on two maternal ancestral families: The Couch family from Great Britain and the Washecheck family from Eastern Europe. The Couch family obtained a land patent in 1710 in the Virginia Colony. In addition, she did research of the Washecheck family from the Czech Republic. The latter family settled in Wisconsin in the 1860’s. Descendants from both lines eventually homesteaded in what would become the state of Oklahoma.

Jinny did not slow down. Her last years continued to be as involved and busy. Jinny was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage, Missouri. She served on the church vestry as well as the alter guild. She was often a helpmate for a variety of activities sponsored by the church. Jinny helped establish and served as chair of the support group, “Caregivers Together”. During this time, she turned her attention to quilt making, producing dozens of quilts. Many of her quilts found a home at the Kansas Medical Center. Quilts from fiber artists around the region are provided to patients in the Cancer Center. A major design in needlework project completed in 2019 was a full set of vestments, paraments and alter items for Grace Church’s Centennial Celebration. Jinny used inspiration from the 1890’s stained glass in the church to create decorative patterns that reflect a vibrant faith for today rooted in faithfulness of the past.

Jinny gives much of the credit for her success in adulthood to the generosity of her maternal grandfather, Ed Washecheck. He was born in America. The grandfather’s parents were Czech immigrants to this country. Ed Washecheck had a strong belief in the education of young people and his capital funding allowed Jinny to enroll at Oklahoma State University. This was the beginning of the expansion of a small-town Oklahoma girl’s view of the world. Jinny has pledged to return her grandfather’s generosity by leaving her portion of the couple’s estate to the Oklahoma State University Foundation. Her contribution to the University’s endowment program is known as the Ed Washecheck Scholarship Fund. Capital from this fund is awarded to students from Oklahoma who wish to pursue a career in early childhood education. Jinny’s first and foremost goal was the enlightenment of young minds, an essential ingredient of a free society.

Jinny is survived by siblings; Jerry Arthur Huggard of Pensacola, Florida, Susan Della Henderson of Tampa, Florida, Eddie Huggard of Eufala, Oklahoma, Annette Gunter of Norman, Oklahoma, and Jimmie Allen Huggard of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Jinny has many nieces and nephews in many states. Jinny became adopted grandparent to her nieces after the passing of her sister Kathie Jean Turner. The nieces are Michelle Turner and her son Eli of Colony, Texas, and Angela Turner and her daughter Josie of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Jinny was preceded in death by her father, Arthur Leonard Huggard, mother, Evelyn Joy Henderson, and sister Kathie Jean Turner.

Jinny’s family would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who helped through this difficult time of her blessed life. This list is long, but includes Avalon Hospice medical staff, nurses, and home health aides. Many members from Grace Episcopal Church who lovingly gave food, flowers, and sympathy. The overnight caregivers who patiently monitored Jinny through her nighttime hours. Jinny’s Carthage neighborhood friends who made themselves available as needed. Father Steve Wilson, Rector and Joe Pierjok, Associate Rector of Grace Episcopal Church for their spiritual guidance. This list would not be complete without including those most near and dear. That includes Jinny’s sister, Susan Henderson, and husband Dale’s sister Ellen Wolf who spent many hours of caregiving to Jinny.

Memorial services will be held 10 am, Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage. Inurnment will follow at the Grace Church Columbarium. Memorial gifts are suggested to the Grace Episcopal Church Education Fund in care of Knell Mortuary. Online condolences may be expressed through Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Knell Mortuary.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




10:00 AM 6/27/2020 10:00:00 AM
Grace Episcopal Church

820 Howard Street
Carthage, MO 64836

Grace Episcopal Church
820 Howard Street Carthage 64836 MO
United States

Cemetery Details


Grace Episcopal Church Columbarium Final Resting Place

820 Howard Street
Carthage, MO 64836

820 Howard Street Carthage 64836 MO
United States

Memorial Contribution

Knell Mortuary

Memorial gifts are suggested to the Grace Episcopal Church Education Fund in care of Knell Mortuary.

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