Joseph Howard Hopkins passed away December 22, 2017, at his home near Jacksonville, Texas.
Joseph (Joe) was born January 20, 1931 in Tyler, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer Hopkins and Ruth (Carsten) Hopkins Bays; his brothers, Arthur Lee Hopkins and Homer Hopkins Jr.; and his sister, Nellie (Hopkins) Parker. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ouida Ann (Meacham) Hopkins; his sons, William Hopkins and Michael Hopkins; his brother, John Bays; and sister, Joan (Bays) Decker, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Joe joined the Army in 1948 and proudly served his country in the Headquarters Battery, 7th Field Artillery Battalion, in Germany. After his discharge from the Army, he attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas. He graduated from Lon Morris after two years and then attended Sam Houston State College where he graduated August 24, 1956 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. On the 21st day of August 1970, he received his Master of Education Degree from Sam Houston State University. He earned his administrative certification at Southwest Texas State, San Marcos, Texas. While attending Sam Houston State University, he met and married his wife Ouida Ann on July 14, 1955. He taught school and coached at several Texas schools before his final assignment with Converse-Judson Independent School District in Bexar County, Texas. After more than 30 years with Coverse-Judson, 30 of which were served as principal of Kirby Elementary School, the elementary school was renamed in his honor, Joseph H. Hopkins Elementary School. On January 24, 1998, Joe was honored to be chosen as one of the three former Lon Morris College students to be named as Distinguished Alumni for 1998. He also began the Kirby 4-H Club in Kirby, Texas and received the Texas 4-H Salute to Excellence in 1991.
When Joe retired at the end the 2001 school year, he was 70 years of age. He and his wife and sons all moved to Cherokee County. Joe loved people. He loved to talk and visit. He never met a stranger. He was always ready to help a neighbor or friend in need. Joe was a member of Faith Congregational Church in Rusk, Texas.
Joe requested to be cremated with no special service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent in his honor to Faith Congregational Church, P.O. Box 388, Rusk, Texas, 75785.
The family wishes to acknowledge with gratitude, the nurses and staff of The Hospice of East Texas.
Final arrangements are by Boren-Conner Funeral Home, Jacksonville, Texas.
Published on December 27, 2017