Linda Hopper

Obituary of Linda Lou Hopper

Linda Lou Hopper

January 6, 1952 – January 25, 2022

45 Year Resident of Santa Cruz

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a wonderful wife, mom, devoted friend, and noted conversationalist Linda Hopper who passed away with her loving family at her bedside following a 4 ½ year battle with cancer.  She celebrated her 70th birthday January 6.

Linda was born in Fresno, California and raised in Salem, Oregon.  She was a well-known and much loved restaurateur in Santa Cruz for several decades as the co-owner of Danny’s Diner and Linda’s Sea Breeze Café, and owner of The Silver Spur for 22 years. Her 47-year career in the restaurant business began as a server in Corvallis, Oregon. Linda left Salem to attend school in California, and graduated from Stanford University, majoring in psychology. One day she took a drive over the hill to visit a cousin in Santa Cruz. She always said that once she saw the Boardwalk, she knew this was the place for her. She soon started as a server at the Dream Inn, followed over the years by stints at Carniglia Brothers, Bubble Bakery, the East Lake Coffee Shop, Casa Rosita, Zoccoli’s Deli, and other local cafes. She met her husband Mike at The Cook Book restaurant in Seacliff in 1988. They met in April, started dating in August, and were married in December. They celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary recently.

Linda was intensely curious about people and their life stories. Linda wanted to know what it was like to be them. Her keen interest in her customers was evident while waiting tables, and she possessed an incredible memory of the names of regular customers and even those who she would see but once a year on their vacations. She would startle return customers by remembering not just their names but what they liked to eat, how they liked it cooked, and when they wanted their coffee refilled. Linda was breathtakingly generous and caring. She cherished the opportunity to make someone feel at home, and maybe even buy their breakfast.  She reserved a special place in her heart for the very old and very young. Folks down on their luck were never sent away without a bite to eat. She had two concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. One was that her employees would be provided for. The other was that she was not sure she could operate a business where hugging was not allowed.

After retirement, Linda loved walks on the beach with her dog and lunch with old friends. She volunteered her time with the California Grey Bears, and was a long-time contributor to Second Harvest Food Bank, feeling strongly that everyone deserved enough to eat.

She is survived by her loving husband Michael Hopper of Aptos; her son and daughter-in-law, Dave Hopper and Andrea Alheit of Soquel; her sister Jananne Gaver of Soquel; her step-sister Nancy O’Callaghan of San Francisco; and nieces, nephews and cousins all over California. She also leaves a host of cherished friends and co-workers who will truly miss her love and guidance. Their expressions of sympathy and love comforted her and have been a source of inspiration to her family. She also wanted to recognize the friendship, care, and compassion of the nurses and staff at the Katz Cancer Resource Center.

A private committal at sea is planned, with a celebration of her life to be announced later in the spring.  Please visit or the Benito and Azzaro Homepage to share your thoughts and reflections with her family. Linda requested that all donations benefit Second Harvest Food Bank, or any other charity that helps those less fortunate.

“See you soon…”





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A Memorial Tree was planted for Linda
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel