Lisa Vannerson Hopper, 50, died on Monday, September 10, 2018 at The Whitefish Center in Whitefish, Montana. She was born August 14, 1968 at Columbia, South Carolina to Don and Elizabeth (Vannerson) Hopper. She attended the University of South Carolina and received a BA in Journalism in 1990. In 1995 she went back to the University of South Carolina and received a Master of Social Work in 1997. She was married to Arthur William Walters for 10 years.
Lisa’s career started as a Legislative Intern on the Legislative-Governor’s Committee on Mental Health and Mental Retardation while in college. After graduation, she became Director of Research for that Committee. While there she served as a tireless advocate for the mentally ill and mentally retarded citizens of South Carolina. After leaving the State House she formed her own political consulting firm, Lion’s Head Consulting which provided services to for-profit and non-profit human service organizations.
After attaining her Masters Degree, she became a Mental Health Counselor/Family Therapist at the Mental Health Center in rural Barnwell County, SC. She also worked with Agape Hospice and as a counselor with the Palmetto Hospital’s Children’s Cancer Center. Then she decided to change course, and she and her mother purchased a horse farm, West River Farm, which she operated, teaching all ages riding lessons, all aspects of horse care, and providing boarding. She also was involved in rescuing horses.
Lisa and Art moved to Eureka, Montana in 2011. They loved the community, made good friends and especially enjoyed helping to support the Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter.
Lisa was a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral while living in Columbia, South Carolina. At The University of South Carolina, Lisa was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority serving as historian and chaplain.
Lisa was known for her compassion, her love of animals and loyal friendships. One long time friend wrote:
“Lisa was the most adventurous person, who jumped and never looked down. Whether it was leaving a safe job to go back to school and embark on a new career that she loved or starting a new business she loved even more, to moving across the country to accomplish more of her goals, her leaps of faith were breathtaking. She had friends all over the globe, from South Carolina to Paris and Belize and Boston, Alaska, California and Montana; real friends, not just acquaintances. She defined sisterhood. When Lisa took you to heart, you were hers forever.”
Lisa was preceded in death by father Don Thomas Hopper, grandparents Bob and Helen Vannerson, William and Opal Hopper
Survivors include her husband Arthur Walters, Eureka, MT; mother Elizabeth (BJ) Vannerson Hopper, Lake Murray, SC; a brother, David McNeely Hopper and wife Molly Walton Hopper and their daughter Jocelyn Rebecca Hopper all of Bocas del Toro, Panama; grandmother Mary Elizabeth Erskine Floyd, Lake Murray, SC and also uncles, an aunt and cousins.
Lisa’s family wishes to thank the staff at the Whitefish Center and at North Valley Hospital for all their care of Lisa.
Services will be at 1:00 p.m., Monday, September 17 at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Eureka. A memorial service will be held in her hometown of Columbia, SC at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter, PO Box 1815, Eureka, MT 59917 or to St. Michael and All Angels Church, 211 1st Ave. W, Eureka, MT 59917. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memorials may be made at www.schnackenbergfh.com.