Arlea Hopson was born September 15, 1940, in Laneburg, Arkansas to Claudie Hopson and Lydia Blake-Smiley. He accepted Christ at an early age at Clevert Springs Baptist Church in Falcon, Arkansas, and later joined the Shiloh A.M.E. Church. At Shiloh, he faithfully served as a trustee, usher, and where he was needed.
On June 5, 1961, he married Bettye Jo Powell and to this union, four children were born. Bettye and one child, Henry Lee preceded him on death. On February 17, 2001, he married Dorothy Payne.
As a young man, he worked at a dairy farm, picked cotton, and learned many skills which turned him into a “jack of all trades”. For many years he worked as Hardy Nix Plumbing and later for the City of Fordyce Water Plant until retirement. He enjoyed hunting, fishing working on cars, but his greatest joy was gardening. He loved spending time with family and friends.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, Dorothy; his mother, Lydia Smiley; his children, Richard (Marty) Hopson, Janet (Jeffery) Martin, Charles Hopson, and Keisha McCauley all of Camden; one daughter-in-law, Loretta Hopson of Texarkana; an uncle, Ervin Blake of Rosston, AR; aunts, Ocie Mae Gulley and Mattie Palms of Dallas, TX; sisters-in-law, Bertha (Frank) McDonald of Gibson, OK, Effie (Ralph) Pace of Milwaukee, WI, Loretta Hopson of Rockford, IL, Luella (Elma) Thompson, Brenda Anderson, Rose (Gregory) Carter, Mary Ann Marks all of Camden, AR, Hermia Hatchett of Chicago, IL; brothers-in-law, Carl Payne, Lewis (Gail) Marks, Oscar Marks all of Camden, AR, Billy Jo (Cynthia) Marks of El Dorado, AR, Shelby Payne, and Adolph Payne, Jr. of OK. He also leaves seventeen grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, as well as, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends who loved him dearly.
Submitted by the Hopson Family
Public visitation will be Tuesday, July 6, 2021, from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home Van Buren. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at Mt. Gillard Baptist Church. Interment will be at Shiloh Cemetery in Chidester.
Pallbearers will be Keith Clary, Adrian Hopson, Kenyan Hopson, Michael Gulley, James “JB” Brown, and Courtney Palms. Honorable to mention are Ervin Jake Blake, Gary Hopson, Kenny Hopson, Ricky Smallwood, Michael Williams, Frankie Hopson, William Smallwood, and Terry Hayes.