Bill Hopkins suffered an aortic aneurysm and passed away Tuesday morning, April 5, at Kettering Hospital. He was 83. Bill was born on the family farm in Jeromesville, Ohio, in 1938. He was the fourth of five children of Ernest and Mary Hopkins, arriving just a few minutes after his twin sister, Peg. As a boy, Bill was a serial entrepreneur, progressing from selling candy bars on the bus (until he was threatened with expulsion) to selling Christmas cards and Cutco knives. He played six-man football, the tuba, and delighted in embarrassing his sister on a regular basis. When a former teacher of his was informed that Bill grew up to become a high school principal she remarked "Well, I guess the chickens really have come home to roost!".
Bill graduated from Jeromesville High School and Borromeo Seminary and got a Master's degree from Bowling Green State University. His first teaching job was at Savannah (Ohio) High School in 1961. It was there that he met a fellow teacher and the love of his life, Lillian Koegler, and they married in 1962. Bill and Lillian moved to Hamilton, Ohio in 1968 and bought a home in the Highland Park neighborhood where they raised three children - Kathy Cox (Mike Bolte) of Cincinnati, OH, Jeff Hopkins (Becky Smith) of Takoma Park, MD and Connie (Cam) Cullen of Windham, NH. Bill and Lillian have six grandchildren: Chris and David Cox (Lindsey Erickson), Edie and Wesley Hopkins, and Hunter and Lena Cullen. Additionally, Bill and Lillian have five great grandchildren: Jaxon, Kyren, Everett, Maverick, and Lucas. Survivors include brothers James Hopkins of Jeromesville, Ohio, John (Julie) Hopkins of Guemes Island, WA, sister Margaret (Jim) Billick of Overland Park, KS and sister-in-law Colleen Hopkins of Sparta, NJ. He was preceded in death by his parents and his eldest brother Steven of Indianapolis, IN.
Bill was the assistant principal of Fairfield High School from 1968 and the principal from 1976. He was a fixture at every athletic event, arts performance and function until he retired in 1992. He could usually be spotted in any crowd wearing his Fairfield-red blazer and holding a concession stand bag of popcorn. He was a big believer in the staff, students, and the spirit of the school, and in the power of education at all levels. After retiring from Fairfield he continued to work on a part time basis for another 20 years including for Clopay Credit Union (now AurGroup) and the First Miami University Student Credit Union until retiring for good in 2014. Bill was an extremely devoted member and leader of clubs and civic associations, including the Fairfield Lions Club, HAMBUCO (now AurGroup) Credit Union, the Ohio Credit Union League, the Miami Valley Investment Club, and the English Mountain (Tennessee) Property Owners Association.
Bill returned often to the Jeromesville area for reunions with his tight-knit family and a 17-member first cousin cohort. He partnered with his siblings in expanding the home farm operation that his brother James continues to operate. He freely admitted that the frequent visits home and associated chores also served as a reminder of why he chose to leave the farm in the first place.
Bill and Lillian shared a passion for travel. Highlights include trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, China, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, South Africa, Namibia and Guatemala. A memorial service will be held on April 16, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 N. W. Washington Blvd., Hamilton, Ohio, 45013, with Al Grote, hospital chaplain officiating. A visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. until time of the service. Interment will be in Savannah Cemetery in Savannah, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the Mary and Ernest Hopkins Family Scholarship at the Ashland County Community Foundation (Mary and
Ernest Hopkins Family Scholarship (fcsuite.com). Online condolences are available at www.weigelfuneralhome.com.