the family and friends of Margaret Carlson, Barbara Hopke Brill, Bill Hopke and John Hopke
Ernest and Mary Hopke were a loving couple, individually unique and unique as a couple in a way that all who knew them appreciated.
Mary was an endearing woman, an artist who loved to paint the world as she saw it. Heartwarming and engaging throughout her life she was a friend to whomever she met and always had a kind word to say about anyone. She was ardently diplomatic, to the point of being given the unofficial moniker of “peacemaker” by the staff at Windsor-Meade. As children, we remember one evening at suppertime she answered the telephone and told us to start without her… seems this was going to take a while. When she returned to the dinner table after 20 minutes, we asked who called. “Oh, it was a wrong number” was her response, but she had the caller’s life story by the end of the call. That was typical of Mom.
A seriously hard worker, Ernest rarely took a vacation, or at least it seemed that way. He had a wonderfully dry, intellectual sense of humor, usually drawing from the irony of the moment. But often he would laugh heartily and do so most deeply at his own expense. One of our fondest memories was a week-long family vacation in a Spartan cabin in the Shenandoah mountains, a place called “Hungry Mother Park.” Although a meticulously planned outdoor adventure trip, our father, the former meteorologist, failed to predict 7 solid days of constant rain. So, he taught all five of us how to play bridge. Many times over the years that experience would be brought up at the dinner table, no one laughing harder than Dad. He was also loved by his co-workers at his lab. The year our brother, Ricky, became ill with cancer, they gathered resources and gifted our entire family a trip to New York City to celebrate one last Christmas with him.
Our parents were quite a pair: the amiable extroverted artist and the jovial introverted physicist. Somehow it worked; and we are all better for it. Ricky was a bright spot in our family’s life, but unfortunately illness cut his life too short, as he died just shy of his 18th birthday. He was a trumpet player with the York High School Band, and played in the Fife and Drum Corp with Colonial Williamsburg. He will always be a wonderful part of our family memories.