HOPKINS, William B. Sr., 90, of Roanoke, Va., died Tuesday, December 11,
2012 suddenly and
peacefully at home. He was preceded in death by Virginia George Hopkins, his wife of 62 years. He is survived by his five children and their spouses, Dabney Hopkins of Durham, N.C.; Sarah and Don Finley of Richmond, Va., Bill and Ann Hopkins of Roanoke, Va., Carter Hopkins of Franklin County, Va.; and Marshall and Jeff Martin of Richmond, Va.; along with five grandchildren, Kitty Hopkins of Atlanta, Ga., Virginia and Isabel Hopkins of Roanoke, Va., Catie Finley of Washington, D.C. and Virginia Martin of Richmond; and stepgrandchildren, Theresa Houchins of Orlando, Fla., and Tony Finley of Richmond, Va. He is also survived by his two brothers and sister-in-law, John Hopkins of Rocky Mount, Va., and Henry and Carolyn Hopkins of Franklin County, Va. A native of Franklin County, Bill attended Roanoke College, and was a graduate of Washington and Lee University and University of Virginia Law School. He was an attorney at Martin, Hopkins and Lemon most of his adult life and a past president of the Roanoke Bar Association. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War and was a past Commander of the American Legion and a member of the V.F.W. He wrote One Bugle No Drums, the Marines at Chosin Reservoir (1988) and The Pacific War: the Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War (2009) which built upon his experiences with the Marine Corps. He served in the Senate of Virginia from 1960 to 1980 and as the first Majority Leader from 1972 to 1976. During this period he was involved with many issues and studies, but was particularly proud of the accomplishments of the Commission on State Governmental Management which he chaired for five years. A lifelong Democrat, he was actively involved in the Democratic Party and in many campaigns, including the most recent elections.
He was a founding member of the Center in the Square and continued to be proud and interested in its success. He enjoyed playing Bridge and, in recent years, did so almost daily at the Shenandoah Club, including the day that he died. The family will receive friends Friday, December 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall at Christ Episcopal Church, 1101 Franklin Road, Roanoke, Va. 24016, where a memorial service celebrating Bill's life will be held Saturday, December 15 at 11 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Ferrum College, 10021 Franklin St., Ferrum, Va. 24088, and the Science Museum of Western Virginia, 4412 Electric Rd., Roanoke, Va. 24018. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.lotzfuneralhome roanoke.com
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.