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Robert (Don) Hopkins

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Robert (Don) Hopkins

September 18, 1932 - March 25, 2019


Robert Donald Hopkins (Hoppy), age 86, of Osoyoos, BC, passed away peacefully on March 25, 2019 at Mariposa Gardens.

Don was born September 18, 1932 in Holden, AB, the first child of the late Freda and William Hopkins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jack Hopkins (Connie).

Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Hopkins; three children, Sue Berlie (Ron), Bill Hopkins (Doreen) and Tom Hopkins (Shawn Bell); five grandchildren; five great grandchildren; one brother, Dale Hopkins (Joyce) and one sister, Betty Tannant (Trevor).

After completing high school in Oliver, Don gave logging a go until joining the RCAF in January, 1952 as a navigator on the Lancaster. His first tour was in Greenwood, NS, followed by Summerside, PEI and Ottawa, ON. A year at staff college in Toronto led to an exchange tour with the US Navy in Key West, Florida where Don navigated the P3 Orion. Next he became Chief Ground Instructor at the Maritime Operational Training Unit in Greenwood, NS. After another tour in Ottawa, Don was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as Commanding Officer of CFS Alsask, SK. He then spent two years in a NATO position in Norfolk, Virginia and two years as Base Administration Officer of CFB Cold Lake, AB.

Don changed careers in 1978, first managing a private golf club in Edmonton, AB, followed by eight years with Alberta Public Works. At the age of 55, Don accepted an early retirement package and moved to Osoyoos in 1987. In retirement he kept busy with computer programming, golfing and assisting as treasurer of the Osoyoos Golf Club. Don even developed the first computer program used to keep scores for local tournaments.

Don will be lovingly remembered for his sense of humor (always ready with a pilot joke or a golf joke or a dog joke), gentle heart and unwavering support, especially for his family on their numerous moves (road trips!) across North America. With care, he taught his children various sports, driving skills and the value of patience. His strength, perseverance and optimism is highlighted in his journey as a repeat cancer survivor. Beginning in 1990 with radiation for lymphoma, Don endured surgeries for squamous cell, prostate, colon and three lung cancers. He stressed the importance of early detection, support and care giving and maintenance of an “optimistic and upbeat” attitude. His motto was “tomorrow will be a better day”. Wherever you are now Don/Dad, we hope it’s a better day!

Special thanks to Dr Calder for his dedication and to the staff at Mariposa Gardens for their kindness and care in Don’s last years.

No service is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting


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From: Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium

Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Carol Graham
Relation: brother-in-laws brother

My deepest sympathy for your loss and condolences to the family.

From: Bryan Mark Holgate
Relation: Osoyoos Royal Canadian Legion, Sick and visiting committee.

Carol and I visited Don at Mariposa Gardens. Don was a very interesting man and we swapped flying stories and experiences regarding the RCAF. Don was a pleasure to visit. He will be sadly missed.

Relation: Friend

Such a sweet, supportive man. When I went through my cancer you and Mary were so supportive and very helpful. Their are no words I can say that explains how much you made a difference in my life. Until we meet again. Love you

From: Dave Wightman
Relation: Military colleague and friend

Hoppy Hopkins was a good friend and crew-mate at the Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit at RCAF Station Summerside PEI in the early 60s. He was an excellent navigator and a bright and high-spirited colleague. An avid golfer, he always managed to smuggle his golf clubs aboard the Argus whenever we spent a few days in Bermuda. We met again during his tour as Chief Administrative Officer at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake Alberta where he was an exceptionally competent administrator and second in command at Canada’s largest air base. Tannis and I send our deepest condolences to you Mary, and the family.

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Thank You Notice

Special thanks to Dr Calder for his dedication and to the staff at Mariposa Gardens for their kindness and care in Don’s last years.

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8522 Main Street, Osoyoos, BC
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