PADUCAH, Ky. — Charles Russell (Hop) Hopson, 101, passed away on Friday, September 4, 2020, at Superior Care Home in Paducah.
Charles was born August 24, 1919, to Oscar P. and Bertha Hopson in Metropolis, Illinois.
He was educated in the Metropolis City Schools and Metropolis Community High School where he graduated in 1937. He attended Carthage College where he was awarded a record 14 letters in four major sports and his touchdown run of 103 yards was recognized as a National record of college football in 1938. Charles graduated from Carthage College in 1941. He enlisted in the Navy flight program in August of 1941 and became an active duty Navy Fighter Pilot during WWII. He was released from activity duty in 1945 but remained in the active reserves and officially retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 1979.
He received his MSED from Southern Illinois University in 1958. Charles was an active member of the faculty of Metropolis Community High School as a teacher, coach, and principal. He was instrumental in restarting the football program that was halted during WWII. He coached football, basketball, track, baseball and started the golf program in 1962, as well as starting the Driver Education and Safety program. He was a registered IHSA official in football, basketball, track, and baseball. Charles retired as principal in 1978.
He participated in the community serving as the Director of the Metropolis High School Scholarship Program funded by Harrah’s, was the Metropolis City Treasurer, member of the VFW, American Legion, and a former member of Rotary. He was President and a Board member of the Metropolis Country Club.
He was inducted into the Carthage College Athletic Hall Fame in 1986 and was an active member of the Carthage College Alumni Association.
When he wasn’t working, coaching, teaching, or flying you could find him on the golf course. He loved playing golf with his buddies on Saturdays and traveling around the area to play in tournaments. After he and his wife Marilyn retired they continued to play golf. He also loved going to the Masters with his son “Skip”.
In 2008, they left their home of 55 years in Hilanoa and moved to Roswell, Georgia to be with their family and especially great-grandchildren. He recently moved to Paducah.
Charles is survived by his daughter, Jan Hopson Vance (Phillip) of Roswell, Georgia; his aunt Pauline Ragland of Metropolis, Illinois; his daughter-in-law, Daphne Garner Hopson of Augusta, Georgia; his grandchildren, Nancy Hopson Maher of Charleston, South Carolina; Jeff Vance (Melanie) of Cumming, Georgia; Grant Hopson (Crystal) of Hartselle, Alabama; Sarah Vance Knetchel (Matt) of Roswell, Georgia, and his great-grandchildren, Tyler J. Vance of Atlanta, Georgia and Abigayle Grace Knetchel of Roswell, Georgia. He is also survived by his nephew, Mike Hopson (Kay) of New Port Richey, Florida; niece, Barbara Hecox Winget (Brian) of Randolph, New Jersey, and sister-in-law, Anne Martin Hecox of Naples, Florida.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar P. and Bertha Williams Hopson; his beloved wife of 68 years, Marilyn Martin Hopson; his beloved son, Charles Edward “Skip” Hopson, his brothers, Harold Hopson and John William Hopson; his brother-in-law, W.R. “Bill” Hecox; and his nephews, Rev. Scott Hopson and Dr. Stephen Hecox , PhD.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at Miller-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home in Metropolis.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2020, at the First Baptist Church in Metropolis, Illinois with Dr. Joe Buchanan officiating. Burial will follow with military rites in Metropolis Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be given in Charles’s name to Mustard Tree Foundation, Inc. 5110 Old Ellis Point, Roswell, GA 30076, a non-profit organization — addiction service, or The Swift School — for Dyslexia and language learning differences, 300 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30075.
Arrangements handled by Loftus-McManus Funeral Homes, Inc.