At nearly 100, Wilson marks 75 years selling cars, eats what he wants – Greensboro News & Record

And, of course: “No drinking, no smoking, and running around, and wild women,’’ Wilson said.

So how has Wilson been so fortunate?

“Well, my mother and her sisters all lived to be over a 100,’’ he said. “My mother was a Hopper and the Hoppers have a history of long living. She lived to (nearly) 104.”

In fact, years ago when the town doctor, the late Weldon Joyce was giving Wilson a routine physical, he looked at the veins in his legs and said, “‘Damn, Raymond, what I’d give to have some of that Hopper blood.’ ”

Indeed, Raymond’s veins were large. Not as wide as a garden hose, but impressive, he joked.

Sure enough, the Hoppers are known around here for living long lives and for their large, strong families. And cousins believe Wilson is the family’s oldest living descendant in Rockingham County.

Uncle John Banner

Raymond called his uncle John Banner Hopper “a trick.”

“He had 11 children by his first wife,’’ he said. ”After she died, he remarried and had 11 more.’’ And Hopper was known to court women half his age, Wilson said.

He was a colorful character with great tales to tell, Wilson said.


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