Korean War veteran, sports official, baseball coach ‘made time for other people’

Floyd Hopper, of Hamilton, who served in the Korean War and was a longtime basketball and football referee, died Jan. 6. He was 90. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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Floyd Hopper, of Hamilton, who served in the Korean War and was a longtime basketball and football referee, died Jan. 6. He was 90. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Floyd Hopper, a U.S. Army veteran from Hamilton, died Jan. 6. He was 90.

Floyd Hopper easily could have been killed while serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

But his flight out of Seattle was delayed and while waiting at the airport, his entire mash unit was killed, said his son, Gary.

“I’m lucky to be here,” his son said. “The same with my sisters. If not for a twist of fate things would have been much different.”

Then tragedy struck the Hopper family when Floyd’s brother, Bentley, was killed when the car he was riding in crashed into a side of a train. After his brother’s death Hopper was discharged from the Army.

Floyd Hopper died Jan. 6 at Hospice of Hamilton. He was 90.

A 1950 Hamilton High School graduate and member of its hall of fame, Hopper attended Cedarville College.

After the service, he was employed as a graphic designer and supervisor for Monsanto Research in Miamisburg and previously for Bendix Corp. retiring in 1992.

He was an avid golfer, bowler and fisherman and enjoyed being around sports, his son said. He served as a high school basketball and football referee for more than 26 years, working one state basketball championship game at St. John Arena, and volunteered on the chain gang for Miami University football games for 45 years, his son said.

Hopper also coached Little League baseball in Hamilton and volunteered to referee CYO football games every Sunday at Joyce Park.

Despite all these commitments, Hopper, 63, said his father was “always there for me. He made time for other people. He was such an honorable and honest man. He was a great dad.”

He is survived by his wife, Dolores, whom he married on Sept. 11, 1954; four daughters, Cathy Duerler, Linda (Bob) Reimer, Anita (Doug) Smith, and Jennifer (Tony) Hoffman; one son, Gary Hopper; nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held this week at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 N. W. Washington Blvd., Hamilton with Jack Young officiating. Entombment was in Rose Hill Burial Park Mausoleum.

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