ASHEBORO — Ray Thomas Hopper, 82, of Asheboro, passed away Oct. 17, 2023, at his home.
Hopper was born in Spencer, Iowa, on Feb. 2, 1941, to Thomas and Marion Barton Hopper.
He was a 1959 graduate of Asheboro High School and a graduate of Pfeiffer University, where he played soccer. Ray retired, with more than 35 years of service, from Dun & Bradstreet as a Senior Business Analyst. He, along with his first wife, Sylvia, owned and operated the Americana Cafe in Atlanta. for five years.
Ray grew up as a member of First United Methodist Church and currently attended Central Methodist Church. He was a volunteer for Road to Recovery, driving cancer patients to their appointments. He was a member of the Randolph/Asheboro YMCA, won many Senior Olympics Games medals, and enjoyed playing pickleball. While in his 60s, Ray hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim twice.
Ray was an avid collector of seashells and sharks’ teeth. After his marriage to Cerelda, they loved traveling, especially out west.
In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his first wife, Sylvia Barton Hopper, and his sister, Connie Redding.
Ray was a great father who enjoyed coaching his children in sports. He was a very witty man with a great sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife of 9 years, Cerelda Hughes Hammer; children, Bart Hopper (Heather) of Gainesville, GA, and Lee Hopper (Marty Brady) of Grayson, GA; stepdaughter, Suzanne Cox Smith (Jon) of Franklinton; grandchildren, Jacob, Jaxson, Jameson, Maddox and Mason; step-grandson, Grady; and nephews, Scott Redding (Jane) and Tom Redding (Sally).
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from noon to 1:45 p.m. at Pugh Funeral Home, 437 Sunset Ave., Asheboro. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. at the Pugh Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Nate Rector and Fred Huffstetler officiating.
The family would like to express a special thank you to hospice workers Sonya and Paige, and special caretaker Ernest, for the love and care they provided for Ray.
In lieu of flowers, Ray requested that memorials be made to the Soccer Program at Pfeiffer University, 48380 US Highway 52 North, Misenheimer, 28109.