My Favorite Mother-in-Law

mark-hopper-color-2x2By Pastor Mark Hopper

Recently, my wife’s mother died in Arizona.  She was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 20, 1924.  She was 91-years-old.

I always called her my favorite mother-in-law.   Actually, she was my only mother-in-law.  My wife and I have been married for 45 years, so she has been my mother-in-law for all that time!

She was a remarkable woman.  She was born during the “Roaring 20’s” and lived through the Great Depression in the 1930’s.  After earning her nursing degree, she worked at a hospital in Washington, DC during World War II.

After the end of the war, she married my father-in-law and they settled down on Long Island, New York in the first modern subdivision called Levitown.  It was a futuristic master planned community filled with returning veterans and their brides.

This young couple was also part of the post-war “Baby Boom”, having four kids in New York and a fifth child after they migrated to Scottsdale, Arizona.

My favorite mother-in-law was a stay-at-home mom who was actively involved in the lives of her five children.   When the kids got into high school and college, she became a school nurse and enjoyed helping young students at the local elementary school.

My in laws enjoyed their retirement years and traveled to Europe and the British Isles several times.  One of their favorite trips was to Ireland because she had Irish roots.  Her maiden name was Gallagher!

My wife and I enjoyed some memorable times with her parents.  We traveled with them to San Diego on several occasions.  And, we will always remember a special trip with them to Hawaii.

I was surprised at how many people attended her memorial service.  There were many former neighbors and friends in attendance, plus many family members.  Almost all of her grandchildren came, too.  She had five children, 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren with two more on the way.

There were also a number of our high school friends and former classmates at the service.  They considered her to be their adopted mom, too.

Let me encourage you to take time this week to express your love and appreciation to an older adult in your life.  Why not put a note in the mail or pick up the phone and make a call?

Tell them how much they have meant in your life.  You will be glad you did and they will too!

Pastor Mark Hopper

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd.  Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit