Donald L. Hopkins died peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning, September 3, 2016, at Riverdell Care Center.
A celebration of his life was held September 10, 2016, at the Nelson Memorial United Methodist Church with visitation at the church from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. with the memorial service following at 11 a.m. At his request, cremation has taken place with inurnment at a later date arranged by his family at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Fairfax, Missouri, where many of his family members are buried.
Donald Loraine Hopkins was born on a farm east of Tarkio, the eighth child of Matthew and Iva Wax Hopkins, on June 7, 1926. He was a member of the Nelson Memorial United Methodist Church in Boonville where he had often served as liturgist and usher.
At the age of 13 he started milking cows at a dairy north of Fairfax, Missouri, riding a bicycle morning and evening to the dairy. Later he worked at a service station on Main Street in Fairfax. He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1944 and on being turned down for the draft, he went to Long Beach, California, to work in the shipyards. He returned to Missouri in 1945 to marry his high school sweetheart, Jerry (Geraldine) Prime. They returned to California where their daughter, Dale, was born in 1946. Then they returned to Rock Port, Missouri, where he started selling Maytag appliances door to door out of the trunk of his car. He began selling cars in Rock Port in the late 1940s and in the early 1950s he moved to Tarkio to sell cars for 23 years. His wife, Jerry, died in 1975 and in 1978 he moved to Boonville to marry Margaret Quinlan Turnbull. When coming to Boonville in 1978, he sold cars for Peters Motors followed by Tom Nick Motors. He retired in 1999 after selling cars at Schlotzhauer Motors for 10 years ending a career in sales for over 50 years. During his working years, he was known as “Hoppy” or Don.
He was well known in Atchison County in his younger years for singing and winning solo competitions as well as singing at special occasions, weddings and funerals.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Jerry; his four brothers, George, Gaywin (E. G.), Raymond, and Philip; and three sisters, Vivian Mitchell, Jurine Straub, and Mary Willis. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; one daughter and husband, Dale and Jerry Espey, of Blue Springs; two grandchildren, Rob Espey and wife, Kendra, of Lone Jack and Jodi Nafzger and husband, Christian, of Boise, Idaho; and four great-grandchildren, Sam and Ruby Espey and Henry and William Nafzger; and many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews.
His loving wife, Margaret, visited him twice a day for the three years he was in a care center, except on the days the weather was too bad or because of her illness. In spite of his vascular dementia and brittle diabetes, he always knew her. On his good days, he always thanked his caregivers at Riverdell and Ashley Manor for the many things they did for him. The care given him was much appreciated by his family.
He loved his dogs, Sam, Pearl, and Mandy, that were a special part of his life, especially Pearl who loved to ride with him in his pickup and also loved to take a ride on Sunday afternoon with Hop and Margaret.
Memorials may be made to the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery Association, c/o Krista Hunter, PO Box 319, Fairfax, MO 64446 or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, c/o Davis Funeral Chapel, 1397 Ashley Rd., Boonville, MO 65233.