Cover photo for Mary Jo Hoppe's Obituary
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1936 Mary Jo Hoppe 2023

Mary Jo Hoppe

September 12, 1936 — September 3, 2023

 

Mary Joan Hoppe, or Mary Jo as everyone knew her, joined her husband in heaven on September 3, 2023. She was born on September 12, 1936, in Danville, Illinois, to Joseph Hosch and Mary Slifer Hosch. She was the oldest of two children and graduated from the Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1954 with plans to become a dietician. However, those plans changed when she met her husband, James Hoppe, who asked her out almost the moment he spotted her red hair, and she began to raise her family which was her life, her hobby, and her love. After her marriage she moved all around the Midwest until 1966 when they arrived in Montana.

She gave her heart to Jesus when she was 19 years old, and serving Jesus and church were important to her. She loved the old hymns and hearing her grandchildren sing, especially if the song had a deep bass part. She met her husband at church, and they were married on April 13, 1957, in a partnership of nearly 65 years. They had nine children together: Pamela, Laurie, Jim, Joel, Carrie, Sarah, Timothy, and twin daughters who died in infancy. She taught Sunday School even after she had her children, who would sit in a highchair while she was teaching.

She tried to be at every school event, which meant that she would bundle up the younger children and carry them six blocks to be at school programs, before which she had worked with the children who were performing to make sure they had their parts memorized for any program they were in. She planned birthdays to be exciting and would place gifts out sometimes for a week or more before the day arrived to build the suspense. She was an amazing cook, with the exception of Spanish rice, and served her family a hot meal for each meal of the day. To date, no one has duplicated her red gravy. She also continued to channel the inner dietician and ensured the meals were healthy. She was a mom to all and welcomed her children’s friends into her home, planning meals that could easily be adjusted depending on who her children brought home for dinner.

At times, she could be fiercely determined. She did not have a drivers license until her oldest child was taking drivers education at which point she decided that she was going to get her license first. And she did, if barely, and then preferred to let her husband drive. She also enjoyed working out with two of her daughters and some grandchildren well into her 70s.

She enjoyed spending time with and spoiling her grandchildren, including babysitting, cooking their favorite foods, and taking them out to special lunches. She tried to attend every function, much like she did with her own children, and made holidays at Grandma and Grandpa’s house extra special.

She always tried to make sure that everything was in place. This led to a running joke around the house about what her husband called her “grandma rounds.” Everyone would be either in bed or waiting in the car and he would be calling, “Mary Jo!” As in life, so is death, and he was ready first and waiting in heaven calling, “Mary Jo!” while she finished her earthly tasks and then finally joined him.

She is survived by her children, Laurie (Forrest) Alteneder, James (Candace) Hoppe, Joel Hoppe, Carrie Hoppe, Sarah (William) Carter, and Timothy Hoppe, brother, Robert (Barbara) Hosch, 15 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, James Hoppe, daughters, Pamela Hoppe and twins Linda Sue and Laurie Lou (who passed shortly after birth), and a granddaughter, Deborah Alteneder.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jo Hoppe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 8, 2023

10:30 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, September 8, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Reception

Friday, September 8, 2023

12:00 - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Friday, September 8, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Sunset Memorial Gardens

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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