Glenda Elaine Thrash Hopkins, age 75, of Banks, Alabama, passed away Thursday, October 14, 2021, following a lengthy, well-fought illness. A funeral service will be held Monday, October 18, 2021, at 1 p.m. at Richland Baptist Church with Pastor Keith Ellis and Pastor Tim Mayhall officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Josh Taylor, Jacob Bullock, Cody Brooks, Lane Brooks, Dalton Bullock, and Eli Bullock serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearer will be Maddy Bullock. Green Hills Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Sunday, October 17, 2021, from 3 – 5 p.m. at Green Hills Funeral Home.
They called her “Gator.” She was a fierce predator of the adversities of life; a woman warrior adept to change and conquering challenges; a beacon of optimism and proof of happiness on the other side. Glenda was really “somethin’ else.”
Born and raised in Brundidge, Alabama, to a large Thrash family, Glenda exhibited early on great ingenuity for engineering and mechanical assembly. She was hot-blooded for adventure, hotrods, and long country dirt roads. Lucky for her, her hometown was wound with ample dirt “tracks” to blaze her ’66 Chevy.
In the midst of her personal life’s turmoil, fate waved her down and bought her a cup of coffee. His name was Dane. He was new to her neighborhood and instantly wrapped by her sensational spirit. A few cups of coffee later and a catchy rock melody, “this thing called love…I kinda like it …crazy little thing called love” had her proposing on a leap year and set fire to a long life expedition together. They kept a fast pace across the country both working with GE Construction before returning to her roots in Pike County to set a home base. She didn’t settle right away, as she devoted another 19 years working as a specialist with Lockheed Martin.
In her retirement, Glenda loved nothing more than being a Granny Gator/GG/Gigi and offering her littlest loves sound advice like: no matter how large and overpowering the heckler may seem, you can always damage the ankles. She often offered her counsel over a scoop of her acclaimed peach cobbler or a bowl of her soul-warming vegetable soup and cornbread, and she always served it with a bit of humor on the side. She found her own reprieve and repair in the ripples of nearby fishing holes where she could cast and reel her worries away, or in the slower pace of RV life at Lake Eufaula.
Glenda’s last months have been determined and hard fought. Her inherent will to survive kept her going longer than professionals expected. In true fashion she transitioned full of surprises, laughs, and wisdom. It seems appropriate that rather than bid a sad goodbye, to just shout and wave, later Gator.
Mrs. Hopkins is survived by her husband of 42 years, Dane Hopkins, Sr.; children, Kenny Bullock (Angel), Sonya Shirley, Stacy Ellis (Rickey), Tracy Bullock (Tonisha), Dane Hopkins, Jr., and Tako Berends (Bobby); 15 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brothers, Leon Thrash, Bill Thrash, and Joe Thrash; sister, Dot Norris (Aaron); a host of nieces and nephews; and her beloved Schnauzer, Paisley. She was preceded in death by her great-grandson, Maverick Arnett; parents, Clem and Grace Thrash; sister, Norajean Douglas; brother, Rayvon Thrash; sister-in-law, Peggy Thrash; brother-in-law, Waymond Douglas; and a beloved K-9 companion, Tripp.
The family wishes to extend many heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of love, support, and attentive care they have received along this journey, and a special mention of appreciation for the ICU staff and chaplain, Tim Mayhall, with Southeast Health for their incredible support in her final days. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her honor to the Richland Baptist Church Cemetery Fund (808 County Road 4415, Brundidge, AL 36010). Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Hopkins family.