Elston Russell (Hop) Hopkins, age 97, of Mountain View, California passed away on Saturday, December 8th, 2018.
He was born on May 13th, 1921 to Roy Thurman Hopkins and Pearl Louvena Ward Hopkins in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Hop graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 1941, where he also excelled in football, basketball and track. Soon after graduating from high school, he married his high school sweetheart, Velma Dean Wright, on August 5th, 1942. Hop was inducted into the US Army on September 11th, 1942. Upon completing basic and radio operator training, he was ordered to the South Pacific. He spent the duration of his service at Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Emirau, returning home in January of 1946.
Their daughter, Nancy Louise was born December 1946 and daughter, Deanna Lynn was born December 1948. Hop went to work for the Missouri Public Service Company in Lee’s Summit Missouri. While supporting and raising his family, Hop became an accomplished Trap shooter and won a number of ATA events. Hop retired from the Kansas City Power and Light Company after 33 years of continuous service.
In 1979 Hop and Dean relocated to Florida to enjoy their retirement. They volunteered at the Gulf Coast Medical Center where they met many new friends. Hop and Dean also enjoyed playing tennis, golf and their occasional trips to see their daughters and families in California. Hop and Dean later moved to Mountain View, California in 2007 to be near their daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Hop was preceded in death by his loving wife of 75 years, Velma Dean who passed away on November 18th, 2017. Hop was also preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Bellemeur and his brother, Leroy Hopkins.
Hop is survived by his brother, Donald Hopkins of Nevada, his daughter Deanna Opstedal and her husband Alan of California, and his son-inlaw, Gregg Bellemeur of California. He leaves behind three grandchildren: Heidi Woods, Chad Opstedal and Sean Bellemeur and seven great grandchildren: Kylie and Makenzie Woods; Morgan and Reid Opstedal; Peyton, Kiera and Audrey Bellemeur.
Hop will be missed by those who knew him as a quiet gentle man who could always make you smile with his quick sense of humor. He will forever be missed, remembered and loved.