January 27, 1939 - July 28, 2021
Deaconess Laurabelle Elizabeth Loper Hope, affectionately known as Laura, was born on January 27, 1939, in Elk Neck, MD to Rosay Loper and Malcolm Ford. Laurabelle spent her formative years in Ambler, PA, and Charlestown, MD. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School in Elkton, MD, she matriculated at Morgan State College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education followed by a Master of Business Administration after the College became Morgan State University (MSU). Laura worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Perry Point, MD, and then at the Headquarters of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) at Aberdeen Proving Ground until her retirement. Laura made history as the first GM-15 woman in TECOM and the first African American woman at that grade in Civilian Personnel Administration, Army-wide when she was promoted to Chief of TECOM’s Civilian Personnel Programs and Policy Division. Family, church, and community were extremely important to Laura. In 1962, she became the founding member and secretary for the Cecil County NAACP. She helped to provide scholarships and assisted youth as a Charter Member and Assistant Secretary of Aberdeen-based, Xi Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.® Laurabelle became a member of the First Baptist Church of Cheswold in 1975, where she proudly served as a Church Deaconess, Mother of the Church, Director of Christian Education, President of the Willing Workers, and instructor for Bible Study and Sunday School. Laura also started the Proverbs 31 women's group in addition to being the host and organizer for several other church groups and events. Laura was preceded in death by her mother, Rosay Loper; son, Bryan O. Carpenter; brothers, Oliver R. Loper and Robert M. Hairston; sister, Katherine D. Hairston; niece, Melisa R. Moore Stewart; and grandson Michael. Laura will be deeply missed by her husband, Deacon James E. Hope; two daughters, Pamela Johnson and Wendy Hope; one sister, Dorothy A. Newton, North East, MD; one brother, Kevin A. (Antoinette Holmes) Hairston, Charlestown, MD. Seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two brothers-in-law, Layton Hope, and James M. Hope; one aunt, Larue Holden; four nieces including Deidre L. Hairston, Smyrna, DE, who was also a caregiver; three nephews; ten great-nieces; and five great-nephews. Laurabelle will also be remembered by numerous godchildren, cousins, and extended family members. In lieu of flowers, please make your donation to: Morgan State University Foundation, Inc P.O. Box 64261 Baltimore, MD 21264-4261 Please make checks payable to : MSU Foundation, and include your designation in the memo section.
Deaconess Laurabelle Elizabeth Loper Hope, affectionately known as Laura, was born on January 27, 1939, in Elk Neck, MD to Rosay Loper and Malcolm Ford. Laurabelle spent her formative years in Ambler, PA, and Charlestown, MD. After graduating... View Obituary & Service Information
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