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Flarcie Irene McMillan Hopkins of Opelika, Alabama, departed this life on January 26, 2024, at Compassus Bethany House, Auburn, Alabama, at the age of 95.
Born December 23, 1928, in Repton, Alabama, Flarcie was the third of four children born to Labe Franklin McMillan and Nellie Irene Powell McMillan. Her husband of 22 years, Roy Edward Hopkins, Sr., predeceased her.
She is survived by her younger brother, L Jr. McMillan and sister-in-law, Mildred Smith McMillan; her four daughters, Jacqueline Holliday Hundley, Judith Karen Holliday Atchison (Frank), Fredna Irene Holliday McNeese (Bill), Lisa Leigh Holliday Cleveland (Mark); eight grandchildren, Charles Michael Armstrong, Melissa Ann Armstrong Yarbrough, Joshua Randolph Hundley, Rachel Elizabeth Hundley, Julia Irene McNeese Post, William Paul McNeese III, Theron Cole Cleveland, and Samuel Garrett Cleveland, as well as four step-grandsons, Chris, John, Matt, and David Atchison; twelve great-grandchildren; and eleven nieces and nephews.
Flarcie was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Jennie Rebecca Holladay (William) and brother, Hilary Labe McMillan (Dorothy McKenzie).
Flarcie was born in a small outbuilding in the backyard of the doctor who delivered her. She and her siblings helped their parents run the family farm, tending vegetables, pigs, and cows, sometimes entertaining themselves by riding calves or the family horse. Her brother L Jr, taught her how to drive in a school bus. Always a social butterfly, Flarcie was named Friendliest Girl as a senior at Repton High School.
Flarcie graduated high school a year early and moved to the “big city” of Montgomery, Alabama where she lived with her sister Jennie. She studied accounting at the University Extension – Alabama and worked with the State of Alabama Personnel Department and State Conservancy. While in Montgomery, Flarcie played basketball for the Reinhardt Jeeps, a women’s basketball team sponsored by the State of Alabama. Her sister introduced her to Randolph Clayton Holliday who was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, and the two married on October 8, 1949.
She and Randy moved to Selma, Alabama, shortly before the birth of their first child, Jackie. Their second child, Judy, soon followed. Upon the recommendation of her doctor, she returned to work in accounting and office management at Charles S. Frazer, Real Estate and Insurance. Their third child, Fredna, was also born in Selma. Flarcie and Randy returned to Montgomery and welcomed their fourth and final child into the family before the marriage with Randy ended.
Flarcie married Roy on May 11, 1974, and was introduced to a humble concrete block house on Lake Martin that the two built, over time, into the centerpiece of her family life. Flarcie moved to the “lake house” full time after Roy’s death in 1996 where she honed her green thumb by gardening—earning the credential of Master Gardener—and made many voyages across the lake in her pontoon boat. Flarcie began work at Montgomery Radiology Associates, P.A. in 1974, where she worked as an office manager and bookkeeper until her retirement in 1991. She had previously worked for the State of Alabama Highway Department and Professional Center Hospital.
Flarcie moved to Opelika, Alabama, near Auburn, in 2008. Three of her daughters had graduated from the esteemed Auburn University, and she had been a season ticket-holder for the Auburn Football Team for more than 30 years, a favorite pastime and her and Roy. She continued to attend football and women’s basketball games, often dressed in orange and blue. In Opelika, Flarcie became an avid student, teacher, and volunteer at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Auburn University. She also continued to work part-time with the State, proctoring engineering exams until 2018. Flarcie was a member of the Pilgrim’s Sunday School class at Auburn First Baptist Church and served as an unofficial librarian in the church library.
Flarcie’s greatest source of joy was her family, and she delighted in hosting large family gatherings at the lake house and every Christmas. No distance would keep her from celebrating milestones with her daughters and grandchildren, and she traveled to Wisconsin and California for the weddings of grandchildren and, in celebration of her 90th birthday, to London to visit her granddaughter and family. Flarcie traveled for adventure as well. She collected passport stamps from destinations such as China, Israel, Europe, and the Dominican Republic, all after the age of 70.
Flarcie was renowned for her love of sewing and dolls. She was a longtime volunteer with Threads of Love, Auburn United Methodist Church, and lovingly sewed dresses for newborn babies born prematurely and other children’s clothes for mission projects overseas. Her participation with this organization and its sewing projects continued until the last year of her life. Flarcie was also an enthusiastic collector of dolls for the past 25 years, traveling each year to the United Federation of Doll Clubs Annual Convention and other events. She taught classes on the history of dolls through OLLI, and she delighted in sharing this love with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters. These activities also brought some of her most cherished friends.
Flarcie spent her final days surrounded by her loving family, including a visit from her baby brother L Jr. the day before she passed. She will be remembered for her faith, strength, curiosity, and generosity. She will be missed greatly by many, and most of all her brother, daughters, and grandchildren.
Visitation will be Tuesday, January 30 at 11:00am at Arkadelphia Baptist Church, 6396 Loree Road, Evergreen, Alabama 36401, followed by a graveside service at Arkadelphia Cemetery, half a mile from the church at noon. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Arkadelphia Cemetery, care of Deborah Salter, 7805 Loree Road, Evergreen, Alabama 36401.
Arrangements made by Cope-Keahey Funeral Home, 705 Perryman St, Evergreen, Alabama 36401.