Hunter Alexander Soper ’45
Hunter Alexander Soper ’45 died in Orange County, California, Nov. 15, 2017, at age 94. He was raised in Iowa farm country during the Depression and attended Cornell College before being drafted into the U.S. Army, which sent him to medical school at Indiana University.
He practiced internal medicine in Indianapolis and held an academic appointment at the Indiana University medical school as a clinical professor. During his career he regularly spent multi-month stretches in Zaire and India, where he served as a medical missionary at hospitals. After he retired he helped set up the local Volunteers in Medicine, where retired doctors, dentists, and nurses donated their time at inner city clinics. He loved his work, and a brother, three children, three nephews, three sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren followed him into medicine.
Soper was the oldest living member of a Cornell dynasty that includes at least 200 Cornellians and stretches back nearly to the founding of the college. His wife, Mary, died in 1997. At a subsequent Cornell reunion he reconnected with Ruthanne Dreyer Hogle-Soper ’46, and they married in 2000. She survives him, along with three children (including Mary E. “Beth” Soper ’71), son-in-law Douglas L. Smith ’73, 10 grandchildren (including Andrew D. Smith ’08), and 11 great-grandchildren. His daughter Virginia Soper Smith ’73 preceded him in death.