Sheila Moss Hopkins, a golf legend prominent in amateur golf circles passed away peacefully on January 22, 2020 in Rock Hill, SC.
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Sheila was born May 2, 1931 in Los Angeles, the daughter of the late Thomas Heyden Moss and Jessie Paterson Moss.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ira “Jay” Hopkins, Jr in 1986.
She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Ann Fackelman (Peter) of Davidson, NC and her son Jeffrey Jay Hopkins (Leslie) of Columbia, SC, and her grandchildren Mallory (Zac), Heyden (Annie), Adam, William “Jay”, Eric, and Morgan. She is also survived by her stepdaughters, Nancy (Jim), and Glenyss (Chuck) and her stepdaughters’ six children and eleven grandchildren.
Sheila was graduated from Stanford University in 1953 with a degree in Economics. She was an accountant in San Bernardino, CA and a stockbroker for E.F. Hutton in San Francisco. At the time, she was the youngest woman to be registered with the NY and American stock exchanges. She also wrote articles for the firm as S. Heyden Moss, using her middle name in an era when it was unconventional for woman to hold this occupation.
Sheila started playing golf in junior high when her parents, also golfers, joined Arrowhead Country Club in San Bernardino, CA. She started playing in tournaments at age 18 and her first title as country club champion was in 1954 at Arrowhead. Over the next six decades she went on to win some 30+ championships at Arrowhead and then at San Francisco Golf Club, Los Altos Golf & Country Club in CA, Monterey Peninsula Country Club in CA, and River Hills Country Club in SC.
She won innumerable trophies but among her most cherished accomplishments was winning the 41st North and South Senior Woman’s Championship in Pinehurst on Pinehurst #2 in 1998, making her dream come true to win the coveted Putter Boy trophy.
She held a lengthy list of course records on both coasts and in Canada starting with her treasured victory in a Northern California Match Play Tournament in 1960 where she was forced to shoot the course record to win.
Sheila met her late husband, Jay, through their mutual love of golf. She was runner up in the San Francisco city championship and he saw her picture in the paper. When he read that she was playing in the CA State championship, he dropped out of his own golf tournament to watch hers. After meeting on the 16th tee, they were married 3 months later. They won every Husband and Wife Championship in which they played.
Sheila donated a perpetual trophy to River Hills Country Club for the yearly winners of the Husband and Wife Championship after they won, shortly before Jay’s death from cancer in 1986.
Discussing her 16 years of serving on the board of the Women’s Eastern Golf Association (WEGA), she said “Golf is a wonderful sport… and serving on the WEGA board was a great way for me to give back just a wee bit of all it has given me.” She donated the Sheila M. Hopkins Cup to WEGA for their 36-hole Team Competition.
Her volunteer activities also included being an executive course rater and rules official for tournaments, volunteering for River Hills Country Club for 16 years, and serving on the board of local golf associations. She was a stickler for the rules and the USGA statement on score cards that “it is the responsibility of every player to know and abide by the rules of golf”.
In the 1970s she helped her husband with his real estate career and was the managing broker with his companies on the Monterey Peninsula in CA. In the 1980s she was a licensed residential general contractor in SC and was proud of the testimonials her clients gave her. She volunteered as general contractor for the River Hills Community Association Building in 1987.
After retiring, she loved to do genealogy work, travel with friends, and swim in the ocean. Sheila devoted herself to staying healthy, bud sadly, Alzheimer’s stole the quality of her life in the past 2 years.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on February 15th, 2020 at 2:00 pm in the Community Room at Park Pointe Village, 3025 Chesbrough Blvd., Rock Hill, SC 29732.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials be made in her name to the Women’s Eastern Golf Association via their website or 119 Summer Winds Circle, Aiken, SC 29803 or to Park Pointe Village Samaritan’s Fund, 3025 Chesbrough Blvd., Rock Hill, SC 29732.