Claire Hoppe, 93Claire Hoppe hung up her hat and gave up her sparkle on Monday, January 2, 2012, after more than 93 great years.
Claire Hoppe hung up her hat and gave up her sparkle on Monday, January 2, 2012, after more than 93 great years.
She was born December 1, 1917 to Dr. Clarence and Bess (Shortliff) Rubendall. She grew up in Omaha where she learned to shoot in the rifle club and rode the Brandeis' horses at Ak-sar-ben, even winning a first place in 1934. She attended Central High before going to Mills College in California, and later transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she graduated in 1939. Claire was active in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, where she made friends for life and continued to stay involved in Kappa flower sales and university fundraisers.
At UNL, she met John Hoppe, and the couple wed at her home in Omaha while he was on leave before shipping out to the Pacific. She awaited his return, working in an airplane factory in California before moving back to Nebraska to start their family.
Claire will be remembered for her humor, her great attitude, and the joy she brought to those around her. While raising her three kids, Lanny, John and Fred, she also enjoyed golf, cards with friends, morning walks, cheering the Huskers on, and volunteering. Every Christmas she delivered her famous bread and butter pickles to friends and neighbors throughout town. She practiced yoga before it was a trend and took an annual photo standing on her head for her birthday until she was nearly 90.
Claire took her great attitude with her everywhere, exporting smiles throughout the world on adventures with John to far off places such as Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America. But it was adventures closer to home where she found her most receptive community. She spent her summers in Minnesota at Lake L'Homme Dieu, where neighbors and friends dubbed her Queen of the North Shore.
She loved her grandkids' visits, cocktail cruises and jet skiing. She could never resist an opportunity for fun or adventure and was happy to tell the sheriff that pulled her over for her small stature that she was old enough to jet-ski. She had T-shirts in a rainbow of colors from "Shooting the Minnow" at the tavern in Nelson.
Claire loved people and when she entered a room, the party would start. Partially, this was due to her wardrobe. If it moves, sings, lights up or laughs, you can bet you'd find it in Claire's house. She loved bright colors and flashing lights, particularly in hats, earrings and jewelry. The attitude was spunky, vibrant and endearing. But mostly it was due to her infectious and vibrant spirit. She was warm and welcoming to friends and strangers alike, and quick to endear all with a funny anecdote or witty observation.
Claire was short. One fan said, "The incredible shrinking woman is larger than life." The family will be collecting booster pillows from restaurants all over town.
Claire was preceded in death by her husband, John L. Hoppe Sr. and sister, Elizabeth Rubendall.
She leaves behind her children, Elizabeth (Lanny) Stratton, John L. Hoppe Jr. (Susan), and Ward F. (Fred) Hoppe (Julie); her grandchildren, Aimee Stratton Gibson (David), Maggie Hoppe and Jake Hoppe; step-grandchildren, Scott Semrad, Jeff Semrad, Jordan Waddington, Ashlee Gentile, Whitney Dietrich, Karlie Rawlings and Drew Rawlings; and eight great-grandchildren. Also left behind are her faithful friends, Gigi and Fifi.
Claire, here's to you and yours. It's Golden Goofy time in heaven.
A Celebration of Life was held Thursday, January 5 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. Memorials are preferred to the Claire R. Hoppe Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation for Kappa Scholarships or to the Lincoln Food Bank.
Arrangements are with Roper and Sons Funeral Services. Condolences or personal reflections may be sent online at www.roperandsons.com.
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