Master Sergeant Ray Hobart Hopkins, U.S. Air Force, resident of Beacon, NY, passed away on Friday December 6, 2019, in Newburgh. He was 90 and served in the Air Force for over 21 years.
He was born on April 4, 1929 in the coal mining mountains of Eastern Kentucky (Arjay). He was the son of the late Ed Hopkins and Irene Messer Hopkins.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Bandi Hopkins of Beacon; Two sons: David M. Hopkins and his life-long companion, Terri Cook of Newburgh and Donald R. Hopkins and his wife, Bozena of South Fallsburg, NY; Three daughters: Doris A. Zicari and her husband, Peter of Cleveland Heights, OH; Diane M. Phillips and her husband, Robert of Perry, AR and Claire I. Vigna and her husband, Thomas of Hopewell Junction, NY. He has three grandchildren: Anthony William Zicari, Courtney Claire Vigna and Kyle Thomas Vigna.He is also survived by his brother, Rodney Hopkins of Kentucky and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his younger brother, Reed Hopkins, younger sister, Ruth Steele and his first wife, Mary L. Hopkins, who was the mother of their children Doris, David, Donald and Diane.
Sergeant Hopkins began his Air Force career at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB)in San Antonio, TX (July 1948). He then served at the T-6 flight training school at Goodfellow AFB at San Angelo, TX. During the Korean War, he first served at the massive Air Force induction center at Sampson AFB, Genova, NY. He then served at Misawa AFB, a support base for the Air Force's F-80 jet fighter, which flew missions over Korea. From Japan, he was assigned to Offutt AFB at Omaha, Neb., the support base for the Stragetic Air Command (SAC), commanded by General Curtis LaMay. After Offutt, he was assigned to Sidi Slimane AFB in Morocco, a support base for (SAC's) B-47 jet missile bomber. Back in the USA, the Sergeant served in the 410th B-52 Bomber Wing at K.I. Sawyer AFB at Marquette, MI and with 2nd AF Headquarters at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA.
A change in his Air Force career came in 1965, when he accepted an assignment to the Multinational NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy, serving with Italian, French, Greek, Turkish, and British forces as well as Army, Navy and Air Force personnel of the U.S. From Naples he transferred to the 5th Air Force Headquarters in Stewart AFB, Newburgh, Where he retired in July 1969.
He was a fun-loving, kind, gentle man who loved children, gardening, shopping, and listening to music. He will be deeply missed.
Visitation will be 11am - 1pm on Monday December 16, 2019 at the Millspaugh Funeral Home, 22 Bank St. Walden, NY.
Funeral services will follow at 1 pm at the funeral home.
Reverend James Van Houten will officiate.
Burial will be in Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Goshen, NY.
In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations be made to the Wounded Warroir Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 in Ray's Memory.
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Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville FL 32256