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Uncle Jim

June 13, 2012

It has been such a long time that I dont really know where to start except to say that Uncle Jim was always so good to me, so kind, he never had a cross word, he was truly a good man and he will be missed.

I remember as a kid in Ohio when Uncle Jim and Aunt Edie and Uncle Shelby would come down to Ohio to visit Mom and Dad and they would all sit at the kitchen table and tell the stories of their days growing up in Kentucky.

Of course we had heard all of these stories so many times but they would tell them again and again and all of them laughing so hard I could not even understand what they were saying though they all knew the punch line and would laugh and laugh.

This would go on for hours on end and soon enough Uncle Jim had his fill of it and would always find a quiet place in the house or if it was summer time out on the back porch and I would go out and sit with him and we would share the time together in a quieter more peaceful atmosphere as the laughter continued in the kitchen.

He would always ask me about my life and what was going on and if I was playing football or baseball or how was school and was always  interested in our lives. He was truly a kind man and I remember his smile and the soft easy way about him that would always put you at ease.

On some of these trips Jimmy and Johny would come with them ( I know your a grown man now John but you will always be Johny to me, I love you cousin) and Uncle JIm was so proud of all of his children and would tell me what each and every one of you were up to and his eyes would shine with pride.

I can recall Uncle Jim coming to our home in the mid to late 70's when he was driving the semi trucks over the road. He would stop and stay with us while on his way to or back from a long road trip.

I would sit at the kitchen table with him and I remember how hard he worked and how tired he would be from working so hard for his family. Sometimes he would eat dinner with us and sometimes he would be so exhausted he would go right to bed after a long road trip.

I would always ask him where he had been or where he was going and it may be Atlanta Georgia or somewhere on the east coast seaboard but he never complained about his aches and pains and would do anything for his family and would tell me how he was excited to end this trip and how he was looking forward to getting home to Aunt Edie and the kids.

He would always be gone in the morning when I would get up for school, back on the road working hard for his family who he loved so much. I always respected him for that.

Uncle Jim you will be missed by so many of your family and friends who will love you and miss you each and every day but in Gods wisdom it wont always hurt this way.

May Gods peace be with you all,

Jeff Driggers

My Uncle Jim

April 30, 2012

Jim was an amazing man who always made everyone feel welcome & had so many storys to tell. He was my Uncle, married to my favorite Aunt..his wife Edith who he was such a great husband to. He will be so missed. My husband Dwight loved Jim & loved all his stories, even though you wonder if some were stretched abit., but he always made him feel welcome & Dwight always looked forward to see him as we all did & when our familys got together, we had the greatest times laughing & having fun & of course Uncle Jim being a truck driver he thought he knew all the right directions always. He will always be missed & loved..God Bless The you all

Our Dad

July 14, 2011

Our dad, James Delbert Hopkins, was a wealthy man – not financially – but in so many, more important ways. 

Dad had a wealth of character and hokey one-liners.  When asked how he was feeling, he’d simply say, “with my fingers!”  I went to see dad when he was in the hospital in Ann Arbor before he moved to Texas, and walked in as he was getting his blood pressure checked by a young nurse.  He pointed out that my mom’s blood pressure, before she passed away in 98, was different in each arm and suggested that the nurse check his other arm.  As she was checking his other arm she caught on to his flirtation and suggested that maybe he wanted her to do this so that she’d hold his hand longer.  Dad just chuckled and said, “wow … beautiful AND smart?”

Dad had a wealth of children … man there were a ton of us!  He loved us all unconditionally and did his best to take care of us whenever he had the chance, especially once we were all grown.  And we weren’t the only ones he looked after like this.  He was stand in father for neighborhood kids, nieces and nephews and anyone who’d let him look after them.  He didn’t always get it right, but he always tried to learn from his mistakes and do better the next time.  He wanted so badly to provide us with the right answer to any situation in which his children found themselves.  Even when we’d tell him about a problem we’d already resolved, he was famous for saying, “what you SHOULD do is …”

Dad had a wealth of love.  If dad loved you, he did so with great pride.  As grandpa, papa, pa-paw, Uncle Delbert or Dad, he was forever repeating stories of those he loved over and over, each time we spoke.  Even if I would mention that I had already heard about someone’s new job, a call from a granddaughter or someone referring to him as their favorite uncle, he’d tell the story again just for fun.  Loving was something dad enjoyed doing most.  He lit up at the mention of any of his grandchildren or of the accomplishments of those around him.  I had a conversation with dad that I’ll never forget in the late 80s.  We were talking about my Uncle Mack, who had just passed away, specifically about what a great man he was.  I said, “they just don’t make them like Uncle Mack and you anymore, Dad.”  Dad got quiet for a moment, and began to cry.  Knowing how much we all adored Uncle Mack – including Dad – he told me that being compared to a man so great by one of his children was the proudest moment of his life.

Our Dad, James Delbert Hopkins, was a wealthy man.  And from him we inherit an amazing legacy of character, the example he set for us to keep trying to be better people and love of which we should be proud.  Dad joins so many people in heaven who left him the legacy he’s now left to us.  If heaven is the reward for a life well lived, then that reward became greater when our dad got there. 

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