Mrs. Lilly Mae (Hopper) Ates went to be with the Lord on March 28, 2022, at the age of 78 years old. She was a resident of Beebe, AR., and was a member of Lighthouse Pentecostal Church. She was born on September 30, 1943, in Hughes, Ar, and was the 5th child born to Reverend James Washington Hopper Sr. and Jenny Lundy Hopper. As a young child she grew up in Lepanto and Trumann, AR.; she also lived in Mobile, AL. for a few years of her childhood.
As a young adult she worked several years in the cotton fields in Northeast AR., both picking and chopping cotton. She married Thomas Earl Ates Sr. on August 6, 1960, in Jonesboro, AR. A few years later they moved to Little Rock, and she got her first job as a nurse aide there.
She was a loving caregiver to many people for many years, both in nursing home facilities, and in private homes. She was a wonderful, loving Momma to their five children, and a proud, doting Mamaw to their grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved God and her family with all her heart, and always put them before herself. She was also a favorite aunt to many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Earl Ates Sr., and both parents, Reverend James and Jenny Hopper, four brothers, Madison, Causby “C-Boy”, James Washington Jr. “Dub”, Thomas “Little Tom”, Billy Joe, two sisters, Catherine Maude (Hopper) Bartlett, Helen Patricia (Hopper) Barger, one daughter, Patsy Mae Ates, two grandsons, Stephen DaWayne Ates, and Jeffrey Wayne Gabbard.
Left here to cherish the precious memories are one son, Thomas Earl Ates Jr., (Lana) of Springdale, AR., three daughters, Peggy Jean Long (Norman), Virginia “Gina” Lynn Ates (Jeff), and Sherri Ann Ates, all of Beebe.
eight grandchildren, Jeremiah Mendenhall (Hazel), Misti Kellum (Terry), Devin Long, Cherish Knox (Caleb), Dylan Long, Brent Ates (Katie), Kyle Ates (Breanna), Dustin Gabbard (Katie), Brandon Gabbard.
twelve great-grandchildren, Hannah (Austin), Adriana (Jacob), Isabella, Jaiden, Laiken, Kaydence, Kellan, Brelyn, Aspyn, Rayla, Kenlie, Wayne, Wyatt. two great-great grandchildren, Hailie, and Addami.
She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Marilyn Rixse of North Little Rock, and Mary “Lizzie” Nowlin (Carl) of Little Rock, a special cousin, who was more like a brother, James Kenneth Thompson (Marianna), of Pleasant Plains, AR, a special friend and cruise partner, who is more like a sister, Helen Long Schreck. and a host of other loving family and friends.
A special thanks to Bishop John Scheel, Sister Vickie Scheel, Pastor Jason Scheel, Sis. Violet Scheel, Sis. Valynn Mills, and the entire Lighthouse Pentecostal Church family, who have stood by her through times of joy, health, sickness, hardship, and sorrow, with love, prayers, friendship and support that took her and her family through them all.
Thanks to Mrs. Dorothy “Nanny” Taylor, Tonia Hundley and Sheri Bickford for their love, friendship, and assistance to our sweet Momma on a regular basis for several years during her illness. We would also like to extend a special thanks to all the staff at Home Instead and Hospice Home Care.
The family will receive friends for visitation from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, 505 N. Apple, Beebe, Arkansas 72012. Funeral services will be 10:00 am, Saturday, April 2, 2022 at Lighthouse Pentecostal Church. Burial will be at 2:00 pm, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens in Beebe.
Services for Lilly Mae (Hopper) Ates are under the care and direction of Vilonia Funeral Home, 1134 Main Street, Vilonia, AR 72173. Sign her Book of Memories at www.viloniafuneralhome.com.
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