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Funeral services for Joan Rae (Norris) Hopson, 86, of Lufkin, will be held Sunday, August 6, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Lufkin First Church of the Nazarene with Pastors Michael and Mallori Rawls, Rev. Algie Lee Kilgore, and Dr. Jerry Spann officiating. Interment will follow at Gann Cemetery in Pollok.
Mrs. Hopson was born on August 14, 1936, in Port Arthur, Texas, the only child of Ray and Elsie (Creed) Norris. She departed this life for her heavenly home on August 2, 2023.
Joan moved to Lufkin with her parents in 1950 and attended Lufkin Junior High and Lufkin High School graduating with the Class of 1954. She attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas where she studied Organ, Bible, and Drama. She loved acting and while a student at Lufkin High won the Best Actress of the Year Award for her role in Our Miss Brooks. She also participated in many church skits. She loved writing and wrote poems to people presenting them as gifts. She assisted the Rev. Emma Irick in writing her autobiography “The King’s Daughter”.
Joan loved life and people and rarely met a stranger, she had a great sense of humor. She had a special love for books and loved to read, play her piano, enjoy her computer, and loved entertaining friends with lunches and movies. She had a great love for animals and provided a home for many during her lifetime, also volunteering at Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter helping find adoptive homes for them.
In 1955 Joan married Jack Taylor Hopson and assisted him in his concrete construction business until his death in 1990.
Joan accepted the Lord into her life at the age of seven. During the week of her eighteenth birthday, she attended a retreat at her home church, The Methodist Temple, in Port Arthur, Texas, at which time she pledged her service to God. Following her marriage in 1955, she joined the First Church of the Nazarene in Lufkin, Texas, and was active in many church activities including Teen Sponsor, Missionary President, Sunday School teacher of Junior Boys, Senior High and Young Married Couples, and was Director of Vacation Bible School for several years at which time she directed musicals for the closing ceremonies. She served on the Houston District Missionary Council , was a member of the official Church Board ,and served as Church Board Secretary. Joan was most active in the church music department, serving as Church Organist 36 years for which she was presented the Distinguished Service Award by her church. She was also employed by Oakley Metcalf Funeral Home as Organist.
Joan was employed in 1959 at Memorial Hospital as Radiology and Pathology Transcriptionist to Dr Ernest Seitz and Dr. Jack Pruitt. She was later employed at Pruitt Medical Laboratories as Secretary and Office Supervisor. She served as Secretary for the Angelina County Cancer Society. At one time she was independently contracted by Memorial Hospital as Medical Records Transcriptionist, and by ten Lufkin Physicians as assistant Secretary, performing the work from her home.
Following her husband’s death in 1990, Joan was employed by Woodland Heights Medical Center for fifteen years as Pathology transcriptionist to Drs James Bruce and Teresa Todd. She retired in 2006 due to health issues.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Caryn and husband John Rawls of Lufkin. Survivors who call her “Grandma Joan“ are granddaughters Dori Lair and husband Eric of Lufkin, Kaylee Rawls Clark and husband Carson of Hideaway Texas, grandson Ryan Hopson and Natalie Allen of Hideaway, Texas, grandson Kolby Hopson and wife Emily of Lufkin and JonDavid Rawls of Huntington. Great-grandsons Blaise, Bransen, Braden and Breece Cathcart, Lane and Carter Lair of Lufkin, Barrett and Jack Hopson of Hideaway, TX; and Khai Clark of Hideaway, TX. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Dorothy Hopson of Lufkin, niece Pat Gandy of Wells, only surviving aunt Doris Norris of Tyler, former daughter-in-law Teresa Murphy Hopson, and a multitude of cousins and friends whose love she cherished.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jack Hopson in 1990, and her son Richard (Dick) Hopson in 2022.
Pallbearers will be Blaise Cathcart, Barrett Hopson, Braden Cathcart, Jack Hopson, Bransen Cathcart, Carter Lair, Breece Cathcart, Lane Lair, and JonDavid Rawls.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. James Bruce, Ray Funderburk, Ken Smith, Ray Faircloth, Jim Seitz, Members of the Lufkin High School Class of 1954, Tadd Price, Mark Hopson, Dewayne Norris, and Steve Weisinger.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice in the Pines, Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter, or a charity of your choice.
Special thanks to Hospice in the Pines, and Larkspur Nursing Facility.
A visitation will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 6, 2023, at Lufkin First Church of the Nazarene, prior to the funeral service.
Shafer Funeral Home, Lufkin directors.