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Ernest Rudolph Hopke

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Ernest Rudolph Hopke Obituary
WILLIAMSBURG - Ernest Rudolph Hopke of Williamsburg, 91, died December 10th 2013 at the Hospice House of Williamsburg. A graveside service will be held will be held on Saturday, December 14, beginning at 11 a.m. at Williamsburg Memorial Park, followed by a reception at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, Virginia. Dr. Hopke was born in Charleston, South Carolina on October 29, 1922. He attended the College of Charleston receiving a BA in mathematics in 1943. He was a Captain in the Army Air Force during World War II, serving as a meteorologist, including helping to forecast the weather for the D-Day landing. In 1951 he received a PhD in Physics from Duke University. He joined the Dow Chemical Company as a physicist in the spectroscopy laboratory. He was reassigned to the James River Division in Williamsburg, which later became Dow-Badische and then BASF. Named the first senior research physicist at Dow-Badische, his particular areas of expertise included fiber physics and polymer characterization on acrylic and melt spun fibers. He retired in 1984. He was an avid bridge player, and enjoyed lawn bowling for many years for a CW sponsored team at the Williamsburg Inn. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary, and their four children and their spouses: Margaret and Carl Carlson, Barbara and Stephen Brill, William and Ruth Hopke, and John and Jeanne Hopke; as well as his sister, Dorothy Hopke Wood, of Charleston, South Carolina. He will also be missed by his 11 grandchildren: Lisa Carlson, Eric Carlson, Amy Carlson, David Carlson, Meredith Brill, Gregory Brill, Joe Hopke, Lindsay Hopke, Matt Hopke, John Hopke and Elizabeth Hopke Randolph. Ernest also enjoyed the company of his 6 great-grandchildren: Brooks, Evan, Isabelle, Olivia, Andrew, and Peyton. He was preceded in death by his son, Richard; his sisters, Alvinia and Louise; and his brother, Harry. Ernest was a quiet, principled man who believed that Christianity was best expressed in everyday kindness. His favorite saying was, "Don't tell me, show me" and that is what he did. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ernest's memory may be made to Hospice House of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23188. Online condolences maybe offered at www.nelsencares.com.
Published in Daily Press on Dec. 11, 2013
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