June 2, 1949 – May 12, 2017 ~ Gone for his final scooter ride to meet the Great Architect, we regret to announce the sudden passing of S. Kelly Hopkins at his home in Desbarats, ON on May 12, 2017 in his 67th year.
Leaving to mourn his passing are his wife of 40 years Marlee (nee Wright), children Tammy (Ross MacLean) of Porcupine, Timothy (Shelly, nee Hawdon) of Bruce Mines, and Thomas (Lynn Despatie) of Levack. Cherished grandchildren are Grace, Connor, and Callum MacLean, Holden and Isla Hopkins, and he had a special place in his heart for Shelby and Sydney Chartier.
Kelly was born in Owen Sound, ON to the late Harry and Ruby Hopkins. He grew up in Tobermory, ON with his siblings Ken (Nancy) Hopkins, Karen (Lynn) Watson, Carl (late Gayle) Hopkins, Klyde (late Hazel) Hopkins, Kim (Betty) Hopkins, Keith (Ann) Hopkins, Kris (Colleen) Hopkins and Kandice (late Andy Munn) MacFarlane. He was a son in law to the late Mary Wright, and the late George Wright. Kelly was a brother in law to the late Pat (late Ron) Nash, George (Nancy) Wright, Darlee (Teuvo) Hannuksela, Tim (Kassie) Wright, Kimberly Wright, and Paul (Lisa) Wright. He was a much beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews, a special nephew of Barney Hopkins, and a loving cousin to many.
Kelly left Tobermory when he turned 17, for a short stint in Toronto working at the Fisher Price Toy company. He left Toronto on a whim, travelling to Sault Ste. Marie where he was hired by the Algoma Central Railway. This job would bring him to Hawk Junction, where he met and eventually married Marlee. He would spend the next 40+ years as a locomotive engineer working for the railway, ending his career in 2011 due to illness.
Over the span of his career, Kelly met many people – he would often receive cards, gifts and pictures postmarked from all over the world. Family was number one in his books, with community a close second. Despite his disabilities, he was an active member in Desbarats, volunteering whenever and wherever possible. He worked the door for many community events and he loved frequenting the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Even despite being wheelchair bound in his last few years, he lived life to the fullest.
In previous years, he couldn’t wait for spring so he could get his hands dirty and start the garden. More recently he would eagerly await the day he could be out on the town on his scooter. He would go out for his daily adventures, and spend hours finding treasures, picking up litter to keep his community clean, and chatting with everyone he met along the way.
Special friends who often shared a visit include Bob Gjos, Doyle McGinnis, Keith (Moose) Moore, Paul Pellerin, and several members of the local Mennonite community. He was a master soup maker, a consumer of peanut butter & onion and bologna & ketchup sandwiches, a lover of all things country and Willie’s Roadhouse radio station, an avid bird watcher, had the greenest of thumbs (growing a 2.2 lb potato and 15+lb cabbages), was always at the ready with a jackknife in his pocket, and he had a (often inappropriate) song or saying for almost anything. Kelly was larger than life; he was loud, he was charming, he was witty, and most importantly of all, he was kind.
“A smile and a friendly face doesn’t cost me a damn cent”.
Family and friends are invited to visit at Arthur Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm and from 6 to 8 pm. Funeral service in the chapel on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 11 am. Rev. Erasmus Madimbu officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Desbarats United Church, or charity of your choice, would be much appreciated.
As per Kelly’s wishes, he will be interred at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Hawk Junction, ON at a later date.