Bill "Hoppie" Hopkins, 89, peacefully passed away, May 23, 2017, at his winter home in Largo, Fla.
He was born, Nov. 29, 1927, in Shirley, Ind., to the late Russell Hopkins and Caroline (Neuendoff) Hopkins Friddle. He graduated from Anderson High School in 1946.
He entered the Merchant Marines and was based out of Nova Scotia and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving in Japan. After returning home, he met the love of his life, Patricia Jackey. They were married on June 25, 1949.
Using the G.I. Bill, he attended the Refrigeration School in Chicago, Ill., and worked for Rogers Electric. He founded Hoppie's Refrigeration in 1952 with one service truck and a home office. His son, Toby, came on board in 1974, and worked with him until a motorcycle accident took his life in 1979.
Although Hoppie's Refrigation was his passion, Bill was a successful entrepreneur in three other businesses and owned several rental properties.
His son Cary joined Hoppie's Refrigation full time in 1986 and they worked side by side for many years. They celebrated the 65th anniversary of Hoppie's this past January. Bill never officially retired, but he enjoyed spending winters in Florida over the past 30 years, where he pursued his one true hobby of bass fishing on Florida's inland lakes with his son Pete.
Bill was a member of several organizations and enjoyed going out to dinner and dancing the night away. His faith was important to him as he was a lifelong member of St. Mary's Church.
He was a loving husband and father, and a proud grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved his family so much that he insisted on family vacations and hosting Sunday dinners. He had a special relationship with his three daughters, who in turn took very good care of him. For those who knew him, sorry, no more Sunday morning doughnut stop by's.
Bill is survived by his children, Nikki Grogan, of Lafayette, and Teena Hopkins, Nitta Stephenson, Pete (Alicia) Hopkins and Cary (Tracy) Hopkins, all of Anderson; 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Hopkins; and a son, Toby Hopkins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, at St. Mary's Catholic Church with Monsignor Sell officiating. A private burial will take place at a later date at East Maplewood Cemetery, where he will rest between his wife Patricia and his son Toby.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Service and Crematory.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the Anderson Christian Center.
His legacy is his strong mind and his strong will to live life to the fullest.
"Rest in peace Dad, you deserve it"
Post online condolences at www.brownbutzdiedring.com
Published on May 27, 2017