William B. Hopkins Sr., 90, of Roanoke, died on 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, Bill and Ann Hopkins, of Roanoke, Carter Hopkins, of Franklin County, and Marshall and Jeff Martin, of Richmond; along with five grandchildren, Kitty Hopkins, of Atlanta, Ga., Virginia and Isabel Hopkins, of Roanoke, Catie Finley, of Washington, D.C., and Virginia Martin, of Richmond; and step- grandchildren, Theresa Houchins, of Orlando, Fla., and Tony Finley, of Richmond. 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. He was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy Hopkins Rylatt, of the United Kingdom.
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 United States Marine Corps
in World War II
and the Korean War
and was a past Commander of the American Legion and a member of the VFW
. 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 life-long 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 on Friday, December 14, 2012, 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 at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2012.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Ferrum College, 10021 Franklin Street, Ferrum, VA 24088, and the Science Museum of Western Virginia, 4412 Electric Road, Roanoke, VA 24018.
On-line condolences may be made to the family at www.lotzfuneralhomeroanoke.com
Lotz Funeral Home, Roanoke is honored to assist the Hopkins family with arrangements.