Cover photo for Valda V. Hopwood's Obituary
Valda V. Hopwood Profile Photo
1933 Valda 2019

Valda V. Hopwood

December 27, 1933 — May 23, 2019


Valda (Val) V. Hopwood of Madison, WI left this life from Agrace Hospice care on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Daughter of Vladimirs and Elvira Abolkalns, she was born in Riga, Latvia on 27 December 1933. Until the age of 12, her life was not unlike other children's. But then WWII brought fighting and soldiers and conscriptions. Her father was taken by the army and Val and Elvira fled the country. For 5 years they were homeless before sponsors in Green Bay brought the two of them to the USA. There Val finished High School, then two years of college in Madison where she met Charles H. Hopwood. In 1957 they wed and made their home in Madison. For many years then, she raised 5 children, while also caring for gardens, birds, dogs, fish and more. She volunteered as Girl and Boy Scout troop leaders, including camping trips.

As the children reached teen years, Val became an Insurance Agent and won several awards as top-seller. Intrigued by racquetball, she became a respected player at the local YMCA. Sadly, she and Charles ended their marriage. After some time, she found a new love in Carl R. Gehrmann. Eventually Insurance required too much travelling and she became Manager of townhouses. In 2010, she fully retired to enjoy her large flower garden and the fresh vegetables grown by Carl. The birds and butterflies enticed were a delight.

This April, a happy surprise: a son given up for adoption searched her out and traveled to meet her. She was thrilled to describe his visit to many people.

Val is survived by Carl; the Hopwood children: Stephanie J. (Lewellen), Robert E. (Janet), Michael D., James J. (Kristen), William G.; Tobin (Shannon) Lehman of Los Gatos, CA; nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. There will be no service now; the family will meet to scatter ashes privately. Should you care to give a gift, please donate in Val's name to: Gilda's Club of Madison, 7907 UW Health Ct, Middleton, WI 53562. Thank you.

Our deepest thanks go to the staff and volunteers of Agrace who spent many hours with Mom, giving her conversation and comfort.
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