Virginia Caroline Wier Roper, widow of Robert H. Roper, Jr., died Saturday, May 12, in Laurens. Born in 1924 in Renno, S.C., she was the daughter of the late Caldwell Wardlaw and Elizabeth Copeland Wier, and was a direct descendent of early Scots-Irish settlers of Laurens County.
Baptized at Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church, she joined First Presbyterian Church when her family moved to Laurens in 1935, remaining a member there until her death. She graduated from Laurens High School and was a 1945 graduate of Winthrop University. Following her college graduation, she worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Charlotte, N.C., under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover.
In 1946, Virginia moved back to her hometown, where she met fellow Laurens native and Citadel graduate Bob Roper, who had recently returned from WWII service in the Pacific. Bob and Virginia were married at First Presbyterian Church in November of 1947, and settled in Laurens where they raised their four children. Throughout their marriage and after Bob’s death in 1993, Virginia was known for her gracious hospitality, her home always open to extended family and friends, serving as a gathering hub for their children’s classmates and sports teams over the years.
Virginia Roper was a member of the Daughters of the Revolutionary War and the Daughters of the Confederacy. She was an active member of her church so long as her health allowed, as a teacher and member of the Women of the Church. Virginia volunteered at the Laurens Hospital, the local Women’s Shelter and the Laurens County Library. Throughout her father’s life she actively supported his public service as Sheriff of Laurens County and Laurens City Councilman.
Virginia loved her church, her family beyond measure, and enjoyed a good book, a strong bridge hand and a humorous story. She will long be remembered for her elegant style, her quick wit, and her practicality in the face of adversity. She loved the beaches, lakes and mountains of South Carolina, and enjoyed both travelling and coming home. One of her favorite experiences was the time she spent living with her daughter, Ruth, in Switzerland and traveling throughout Europe. She delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, by whom she was affectionately known as Gigi, and was especially proud of her granddaughter Kate Roper’s recent graduation from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Graveside services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at Laurens City Cemetery.
Gray Funeral Home of Laurens