Dick Stratton and Myrtle Campbell pioneered Oregon from Missouri in the late 1800s; they wed and homesteaded in Bear Valley, Oregon. They had four children. The youngest and only daughter, Neva Nona Stratton, was born August 5th, 1921.
Neva learned to appreciate the simple things in life while growing up in Bear Valley and was also instilled a strong sense of work ethic. She worked hard on the family ranch and honed all of the talents and skills that she would later share and instill with not only her children but also grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a strong mentor to all 18 of them.
After graduating from Grant Union High School, she moved to Spray, Oregon, where she met her future husband, Robert Lee Hopper. He quickly swept her of her feet and they were married Halloween Day 1942. Robert joked later that he thought it was all just a Halloween trick. This always tempered Neva, but it truly was a lifetime of treats.
Bob was drafted shortly after they were married and served in WWII. The oldest of their children, LeNona Lee Hutchison, was born while he was still overseas in India. After the war ended and Bob returned to Neva, and they added two more boys to complete their family, Lyle Ross Hopper and Loren Royce Hopper. After moving around a bit, first to John Day, Springfield, and then Spray, the family finally settled in Heppner, Oregon.
After years of homemaking, Nevas children were now all in school; this gave her the time and opportunity to go to work outside the home. She took a position at Pioneer Memorial Hospital.
In 1964 Bob went to work for the Umatilla Army Depot, which moved the family on base. Neva moved from Pioneer Memorial Hospital to a position at Good Shepherd Community Hospital in Hermiston. She served in her position until her retirement years later.
Upon moving to the Hermiston area, Neva and Bob became an intimate part of the Highland Baptist Church family. Neva taught years of Sunday school, opened her home in the summer for vacation Bible school, and also served in many aspects, one of which was their secretary. After retirement she volunteered for many causes, primarily at Good Shepherd Medical Center Auxiliary, and for Hermistons Agape House. She donated much of her time until macular degeneration took her sight in her 80s. Her faith from childhood was strong and never-ending and this was lovingly instilled in everyone she touched. She loved the Lord and was his faithful servant up to the very end of her life.
Neva loved spending time surrounded by family and friends and was loved by all who knew her. She enjoyed travel as well as gardening, sewing, singing, cooking, playing games and spoiling the dickens out of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren every chance she got. She will be missed by all. Neva died Saturday, March 10th, 2012, at her home in Ashley Manor Care Center in Hermiston, Oregon. She was 90 years old. Neva was preceded in death by her parents, Dick and Myrtle Stratton; her three older brothers Carl, H. Ray and Clarence Stratton; husband Robert Lee Hopper, and grandson Cody Ray Schoonover.
She is survived by children LeNona Hutchison, Lyle Hopper and Loren Hopper; daughters-in-law Anna Hopper and Rene´ Hopper; son-in-law Mike Hutchison; grandchildren Robby Hutchison, Shera Hopper, Sheila Botti, Monica Curtiss and Terra Nava; great-grandchildren Cassidy and SharaLee Hutchison, Sierra Ibarra, Savannah Sherer, Dylan and Madison Botti, Keely Jones, Chelsa Hopper, Ainsley and Brinley Curtiss, and Emmy and Joaquin Nava.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 15th, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. A luncheon will follow at the Hermiston Eagles Lodge #2909, 160 N.W. Second Street in Hermiston. Private burial will be at the Hermiston Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Medical Centers Ladies Auxiliary.
Please sign the condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.