Woodward, Okla. — Bill (BJ)Hopkins, ten year resident of Grass Valley, CA, passed away on January 27, 2013 at the age of 85. Bill moved to Grass Valley from St. Helena, CA with his wife of 54 years, Lois Hopkins, to be more present in his grandchildren's lives. Bill was born in Pampa Texas, moving shortly thereafter to Quinlan, OK, where he grew up the oldest of the six children born to William Franklin Hopkins and Anna May Johns. Bill's childhood included helping on the family farm and surviving the Dust Bowl.
Bill fell in love with airplanes at an early age; after spending a year in the Navy, he attended the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa OK. His flying career got off to a rocky start when he crashed his plane into a fence, with his brother, Marvin, on board. Fortunately Bill's piloting skills improved, and he began a 36+ year career with United Air Lines. He began his career with United, as a Mechanic, working his way to Flight Engineer and retiring as a Captain of the DC10.
Bill enjoyed his retirement, pursuing many diverse interests, including traveling the globe, volunteering for various charities, wine making, fixing antique clocks, photography and camping, Bill was a voracious reader his entire life and pursued a lifetime of learning.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, Jason Hopkins, Bill's brother Charles Hopkins, whose widow, Joni, resides in Aurora, CO.
He leaves behind his loving wife, Lois Hopkins; his son, Rick Hopkins & wife Jenny of Woodward, daughters, Wanda Hopkins of San Diego, CA; Cindy Hopkins and husband Frank Spagnola of Santa Cruz CA; Teri Patterson and husband Chuck; three grandchildren, Vanessa, Amy and Keven Patterson, great-grandson Connor all of of Penn Valley CA; great-granddaughter, Hannah of Mooreland, OK; sister Maryann Mustari and husband Dick Noble of Lakewood, CO; Patricia and husband Charles Like of Glenwood Springs, CO; Marvin Hopkins and wife Colette of New York City, NY; Sherry McDowell and husband Duane of Elk City, OK; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is planning a private memorial.