Wanda Louise Sue Hopkins was born on January 1, 1935, the daughter of Lena Pearl (Workman) Vanderheiden and Herman Jacob "Blackie" Vanderheiden. She grew up in Stilwell, attended Stilwell Public Schools and was a member of the 1953 SHS graduating class. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Northeastern State University in 1957, and later earned her Master's Degree in Education from Northeastern as well. She spent 20 years teaching at Elementary schools across Adair County.
In 1955, she married the love of her life, Jim D. Hopkins, her husband of 51 years until his death in 2006. From this union she bore two children, Dr. Kimberlee Hopkins Wilson and J. Lance Hopkins. She is survived by her two children and son-in-law, Charles Wilson, as well as four grandchildren, Chase Wilson and his wife Vanessa, Trent Wilson, Sarah Hopkins and Van Hopkins.
After her teaching career, she spent the next 30 years helping her husband operate numerous family businesses including wholesale gasoline distribution, car dealerships, convenient stores, and commercial real estate. She had a great reputation as a kind and loving person, with an outgoing personality and many close friends. She was a member of the Park Hill Baptist Church, and loved seeing her friends there every Sunday. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Stilwell Study Club, and the Strawberry Promenaders Square Dance Club.
Her primary focus in life were her children and grandchildren, spending countless hours every week babysitting, cooking, and helping with homework and tutoring. She will always be remembered as a sweet, kind, and loving person.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, as well as by her younger brother, Hendrix Leon "Sonny" Vanderheiden.