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Thomas Clyde Hopkins


1934 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Thomas Clyde Hopkins Obituary
HOPKINS, Thomas Clyde, USAF, Maj. Ret. May 7th, 1934 -- Jan. 5th, 2019 Thomas Clyde Hopkins, 84, passed peacefully into the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ at sunrise on Saturday, January 5, 2019, following respiratory complications. Tom was born on May 7, 1934 in Jefferson City, Missouri to Clarence Warren Hopkins and Helen Irene Moses. He is survived by: Life Partner Nancy Hollingsworth; Son Kenneth and his wife Karol Ann; Kenneth's sons Michael, Steven; stepson Christopher; Kenneth's daughter Natalie; stepdaughter Danielle; Karol Ann's daughter Andrea; Daughter Cynthia and her husband Leo Rusenas; Cynthia's son Aaron; Leo's children Kristina, Regina, Mykolas; Son Steven; Son Edwin and former daughter-in-law Jennifer; Edwin's sons Cameron, Kelson; Edwin's stepdaughter Amanda; 14 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years Betty, her uncle David*, and her mother Elizabeth, his parents Clarence and Helen, his sister Patricia and her husband Bob, his sister Lillian and her husbands, his daughter-in-law Vanessa, his son-in-law Barry*, and his grandson Garrett*. (*US Armed Forces Veterans) In 1948, he attended Westport High School in Kansas City, Missouri. His 4-year membership in the Army ROTC counted for his freshman year of Air Force ROTC in college. He was awarded Eagle Scout his senior year, graduating in 1952. Later in 1952, he attended Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for 3 years, earning a BA in Chemistry and his Air Force commission of 2nd Lieutenant in 1955 one year early. He was on the Drill and Rifle teams, eventually becoming the Captain of each. After completion of Basic Training and Pilot Training, he married Betty Laura Tribbey on July 7, 1956. Throughout his 22-year career in the US Air Force, Tom flew as a student, pilot, co-pilot, or instructor pilot in the following aircraft: T-33, T-39, F-100, F-101, F-105, flying missions in many regions of the world, including a region referred to as "Thud Ridge" in the Red River valley in Vietnam. Decorations/Awards: Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters (1966), Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster (1966), Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon, RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm (gold frame, for unit citation), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He taught Freshman ROTC at Wichita State University. His service to the church included these positions: Choir, Bells, Elder, Chair of Education & Finance committees, member of Finance Committees 34 years, Treasurer, Co-Chair of the new building task force, Adult Educator and Coach, Bible study leader, and Mariners Skipper. He served the community as Cub / Scout Master and was awarded the Scouter's Key later in life. He was also an award-winning Photographer with his own home dark room and photo lab. After retiring from the Air Force in 1977, he continued working: EZ Motor Home Referral (owner), Amway distributor, A.L. Williams Regional Vice President and Registered Securities Principal selling term insurance & Mutual Funds and training agents for security licenses. He volunteered in the following ways: Runaway and Suicide Hotline Counselor (with Betty) 3 years in the Texas Governor's office on the Sunday midnight shift, Tax Counselor for AARP Tax-Aide 26 years from 1992 to 2018, Round Rock Caregivers Treasurer 3 years and Driver 20+ years. In his "senior" years, his week looked like this: Sunday Church and Rest, Monday Bell Choir, Tuesday Bowling, Wednesday Choir, Thursday Band of Brothers (BoB), Billiards and Dancing, Friday Drive a Senior, Saturday Date Night at the Palace Theatre or Easy Eaters. A Celebration of Life service with Full Military Honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 12th 2019, at Round Rock Presbyterian Church, 4010 Sam Bass Road, Round Rock, Texas, with a reception immediately following, and a private family burial at a later date.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 11, 2019
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