Mr. John W. Hopkins, known fondly as "Hoppy" and "Bo," age 76, of New Castle, DE, passed away on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.
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A native Delawarean, Mr. Hopkins was born in Wilmington on March 5, 1936, son of the late William J. Hopkins and Carrie Kovoleski Hopkins. He was 1954 graduate of William Penn High School, where he starred on the varsity football team as one of William Penn's famed "4Js" and was named an All-State running back. A truly gifted multi-sport athlete, he was also a standout on the basketball, baseball, and track teams. In later years, he played semi-pro football with the former Wilmington Clippers. He also continued to support his high school alma mater as a member of the sideline crew for William Penn home football games from 1974 to 2011.
Mr. Hopkins would go on to attend the Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, VA, and the West Chester State Teachers College, before establishing Hopkins Trucking, Inc. in New Castle, a highly-successful local company he owned and operated for the past 45 years. Active in the community, he was a longtime member of the New Castle Presbyterian Church and the Wilmington Manor Volunteer Fire Company, and a Life Member and past president of the Wilmington Manor Lions Club. He was also a member of St. John's Lodge #2, AF&AM, the Delaware Consistory, and the Nur Temple Shrine.
Mr. Hopkins remained committed to the importance of athletics throughout his life, sponsoring (and playing on) the Hopkins Trucking teams in local softball and baseball leagues. He also participated in softball events in the Delaware Senior Olympics. Other favorite hobbies included playing cards with friends, watching horseracing, vacationing and boating at his beach home in Bethany, and fishing each winter in the Florida Keys aboard "The Marathon Lady."
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Joanne Murray Hopkins; sons, William John Hopkins (Susan) of Bear, Nelson James Hopkins (Cheryl) of Middletown, Mark Edward Hopkins (Karen) of Middletown, and Matthew Thomas Hopkins (Kathryn Belczyk) of Park City, UT; sisters, Joan Smith of New Castle, Florence Charlton-McKenna (Mike) of Landenberg, PA, and Sonia Latina (Bob) of Ocala, FL; brother-in-law, Chuck Smith of Millsboro; grandchildren, William J., Brian, Heather Lynn, Benjamin Nelson, Nathan T., Ryan T., and Sydney E. Hopkins; and great granddaughter, Hayley. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Billy Hopkins and Tommy Hopkins.
The family extends their gratitude to the nurses and staff of Delaware Hospice for their outstanding care of Mr. Hopkins during his illness.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 pm on Sunday, October 28, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle. A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Monday, October 29, at the New Castle Presbyterian Church, 25 East Second Street, New Castle, DE 19720. Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to New Castle Presbyterian Church at the address above.
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Published in The News Journal from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2012