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Phillip Keith Hopper

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Phillip Keith Hopper Obituary
Phillip Keith Hopper

Phillip Keith Hopper left this world August 3, 2013. He had done a hundred years' worth of living, but he did it all in 61 years. That was his style: Work hard. Play hard. Love and laugh a lot.
He will be remembered for his many accomplishments and innovations in medical technology. Phillip built a number of businesses and was co-holder of 19 patents. His family and friends (many of them business associates) will also remember that his hard-charging persona was softened by audacious and infectious humor. He was the kind of man for whom contacts turned almost immediately into friendships, and that remained true even as he battled cancer. The doctors and nurses who gave him such excellent care were quickly bonded to this cheerful soul who never gave up.
Phillip was born in San Antonio Texas, but the family soon moved to Emporia Kansas. He hit the ground running. High school achievements included multiple letters in sports and debate. He was a representative to Boys' State and a Science Fair winner to the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas. In pre-med at Kansas State Teachers College he was an honors student, a member of Beta Beta Beta national biological scholastic fraternity, Phi Delta Theta social fraternity and vice president of Blue Key National Honorary Society.
As a member of the First Christian Church he spent summers participating in youth mission tours in Mexico. During the school years he worked as an operating room technician. He was the Kansas State President of DeMolay and went on to receive the DeMolay International Distinguished Service Award in 1971.
After graduate study Phillip began his career in medical research as a technician in the department of virology and epidemiology at Baylor University. He moved to Johnson and Johnson, with Ethicon and Iolab, in a variety of increasingly responsible sales and marketing roles.
He then assumed key roles in the development of a number of start-up medical technology companies, including Ioptex, Lukens, Origin Medsystems, Guidant Corp., and Radiant Medical, Inc. He brought tremendous creativity to every challenge and helped pioneer new platform technologies to improve surgical and interventional techniques in the specialties of ophthalmology, general surgery, cardiac surgery and cardiology.
Phillip was President and CEO of Lumend Inc. from 2004 through 2007, bringing that venture from a failed auction and negative cash flow to successful product introduction (interventional total chronic occlusion devices), and buyout by Johnson and Johnson.
Most recently he was President and CEO of Asante Solutions, bringing a semi-disposable drug delivery pump through R&D, FDA approval and successful market introduction. He also served on the boards of directors of a number of other medical technology companies. He brought tremendous creativity to every business challenge and touched so many lives along the way.
Despite the demands of his career, he always found time for family and for friends. He shared a passion for baseball with his son Jarrod, and was a one-man grounds crew in the San Carlos leagues where Jarrod excelled, competing in tournaments from coast to coast. He was also a stained glass artist, and approached his art with the same energy as every other aspect of his life.
He was a joker, and as in the card games he loved, the joker was, more often than not, wild.
Phillip is survived by his wife of 30 years Patricia; son Jarrod; Mother Nadine; sisters Pat Dahnke, Karen Carns and Nancy LeClear; brother Charles; four nieces, two nephews and one grand-nephew. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Margaret Cavaluzzo; sisters-in-law Leslie Otto and Jane Baronet; brothers-in-law Gary Cavaluzzo and Nicholas Cavaluzzo; six nephews and one grand-nephew all of New Jersey. < />Phil's family would like to thank the staffs of UCSF Medical Centers Mt. Zion and Parnassus locations, the Stanford Hospital Head and Neck Oncolog Department and Pathways Hospice for the extraordinary care he received.
Celebrations of his life will take place at later dates in both San Carlos, California and Emporia, Kansas. Enjoy a glass of zinfandel in Phil's honor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Patricia N. and Phillip K. Hopper Nursing Scholarship established through Emporia State University, 1500 Highland St. Emporia, KS 66801. Sign the guestbook at www.crippenflynn.com


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 11, 2013
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