July 12, 2024

 John Clifton Hopkins

Posted

(Seekonk) John “Hoppy” Hopkins’ (59)  worldly adventure ended peacefully at home on Sunday afternoon, May 12th, surrounded by the enduring love of his family and friends.  He was the devoted husband of Lisa (St. Laurent) Hopkins, and the dedicated father of Jacob and Abigail Hopkins.  

He was the youngest child of Clifton and Edna (Page) Hopkins.  He is survived by siblings Stephen, Michael, Mark, Matthew, Christine, Mary, and Nancy.  He is also survived by many much loved nieces and nephews, who will always remember Uncle John as their Pied Piper of fun.

His youth was spent outdoors, learning all he could from his siblings about the natural world. Growing up in a family of Scouts, he was a member of Troop 6 North Providence, and joined the Camp Yawgoog staff at the youngest possible age.  Over a long career at camp, he taught backcountry camping, rock climbing, and was an expert instructor in waterfront skills, including canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, and white-water rafting. He helped build and run the high ropes Challenge Course at Three Point, and he was also on the team that established the “Quest” program to take Scouts on two-week adventures into the Maine wilderness. Through all his outdoor adventures he guided thousands of young people helping them to banish their fears and discover their true potential.

He was an outstanding athlete at North Providence High School, breaking the mile record his coach had set a generation earlier.  After graduating from North Providence High School with honors, he attended Rhode Island College, where he would meet the love of his life, Lisa, on the flag football field. A friend urged him to ask out this beautiful and equally athletic coed, who also happened to share his love for football and all sports.  John’s love for outdoor adventures inspired years of teaching kids at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Ski Resort, where Lisa and John shared another set of lifelong friends. 

As Jacob and Abbie grew, so did John’s associations with organizations that were important to his children.  Jacob became a record breaking high school diver and Abbie became a D1 collegiate All-American equestrian; John seized every chance to cheer them on at their competitions.  Jacob’s involvement with Troop 1 Seekonk spurred John’s return to Scouting as an adult leader.  “Hoppy” would spend more than a decade helping the youth of Seekonk discover the wonders of the outdoors, including hiking and camping in the spring and fall, skiing in the winter and, yes, Camp Yawgoog in the summer. 

John’s home and family were the center of his life, always a source of pride and joy. He lovingly designed and carefully constructed with his own hands every detail of the home in which  he and Lisa raised their wonderful children.

He helped build Our Place Tuxedos and Uniforms into a thriving enterprise.  Beginning as a sales associate in high school, and continuing four decades later as CEO, John led his team to grow the business from its strong foundation into a company that serves not only the uniform needs of many local restaurants and institutions but also national companies from Maine to Florida.  He also enjoyed his decades-long association with the RI Business Exchange Club where he formed still more lasting friendships.  

Alongside the challenges of a growing family and a successful business, John’s natural love of music and his talent with the acoustic guitar inspired him to form a popular cover band called Mid-Life Crisis (MLC).  He and the MLC crew entertained thousands of people in hundreds of shows across southern New England; yet nothing made him happier than playing for the loyal crowd at The Chieftain Pub in Plainville.

For seven years John courageously fought  to regain mobility and stay positive through the challenges of 3 surgeries to try and remove a “cavernous angioma” in his spinal cord that repeatedly took away his mobility. After a long and heroic battle with the angioma, and a short battle with cancer, his last gift was to science to advance progress toward curing the extremely rare and devastating condition of cavernous angiomas as well as continued cancer research.   

John devoted his full energy into bringing “good noise” into the world. He will be forever remembered for his amazing Hopkins smile, his infectious spirit, his mischievous wit, his thirst for the next adventure, and his limitless love for Lisa, Jacob, Abbie and his many, many dear friends. 

Lisa, Jacob, and Abbie are so grateful to the innumerable friends who have supported John and them for years, and especially through the past 7 years.  There are too many to mention individually, but include their loyal Seekonk friends for walking with him, reading to him, playing cards with him, going to dinner with him, and helping with the house and yard when he couldn’t. His Copper Mountain crew from around the country who always called and visited as much as possible, as well as Lisa’s colleagues and John’s business club associates who were always there for the family.  A  special thank you MUST go to his long time honorary brothers Shawn, Howie, Mike, Stever,  Don,  and Jeff for being there whenever needed, whether it be for medical or legal advice, emotional support, or comic relief. John can rest easy knowing these lifelong friends, and our other wonderful  groups of friends will always be there for his family. 

Calling hours will be held, Monday, May 20th, at the Perry-McStay funeral home, located at 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, in East Providence, from 4pm to 7pm.  Services will be held at Seekonk Congregational Church, 600 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk, on Tuesday, May 21st at 11am.  In lieu of flowers, donations to either the Yawgoog Alumni Association (www.yawgoog.org/alumni) or the Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation (www.alliancetocure.org) would be sincerely and graciously appreciated.

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