Nancy Hopkin Smith

Sept. 11, 1941 – May 16, 2012

Nancy Hopkin Smith was the firstborn child of Fredrick Wilson Hopkin and Dorcas Lea Waltman. She was born on Sept. 11, 1941, in Powell. In her usual impatient fashion, not being able to wait for the loved ones that were in route to say goodbye, she died peacefully with her sisters Janet and Debbi at her side in Lovell, at the North Big Horn Hospital.

Nancy lived most of her growing up years on the family dairy farm en Penrose, attending school in Powell. The school said that she went around the world twice on their school bus. Nancy graduated from Powell High School in 1959. After a year at Northwest Community College, Nancy graduated from the Billings Business College. From Billings, Nancy moved to Cheyenne. After a short stay there she moved with a friend to Huntington W. Va., where she met Bill Smith. Nancy and Bill were blessed with three beautiful daughters, Shauna, Tracey and Nikki.

Nancy spent many years raising horses and hound dogs and driving the narrow roads of the hollers of West Virginia and then Ohio. Nancy made the most of living in the south, but her heart was still always home in the Big Horn Basin. Nancy returned to Wyoming in 1989, living first in Lovell, then Byron and finally in her beloved Powell. She returned to Northwest College, studying art, history and political science subjects.

Nancy worked many years at the IGA Foodbasket and then at McDonald’s until she became ill with cancer in January 2009, when she was finally forced to quit working all together. Beating the odds, Nancy won the battle against cancer, retiring to the Powell Valley Care Center where she would spend the next three years writing, reading and painting. Recognizing Nancy’s unique artistic abilities, the care center staff invited her to paint the dining area windows and write an article for the monthly newsletter.

Nancy began to have difficulties with her kidneys at the beginning of this year, resulting in numerous stays at the Billings Clinic.  Consequently, she was forced to move into the long-term facility in Laurel. Nancy was taken from there on May 9 to the Billings Clinic emergency room by ambulance. Once there, under the advice of the physicians, Nancy chose to come home to the Big Horn Basin for her final hours.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her daughters, Shona (Don) Rutt of Scottown, Ohio; Tracey (Curt) Runyan of Springfield, Ohio and Nikki Gannon of Coal Grove, Ohio,;seven grandchildren and one great-grandson; sisters Janet (John) Kobielusz and Kathi (Dennis) Pittman, both of Gillette and Debbi (Dave) Keele of Lovell; brother Carl Hopkin of Aurora, Colo.; numerous nieces and nephews; Uncle Burch and Aunt Ruby Hopkin, and Aunt Alyce Hopkin, all of Powell; as well as numerous cousins.

A memorial service was held May 12, 2012, at Haskell Funeral Home with interment in the Penrose Cemetery on May 14, 2012.


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