ForeverMissed
William Briggs Hopson, Jr. was born in Delhi, Louisiana in 1937. He departed this life on June 20, 2020 when he joined his parents, the late Mary Jane and W. Briggs Hopson, Sr., in heaven.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, he received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he served as chief resident and associate professor of surgery.

He began his medical career in Vicksburg, Mississippi at the Street Clinic in 1967. He continued his medical work in Vicksburg until his retirement in 2018. During that time, he served as chief of staff, president (and chairman of the board) of the local hospital and clinic, respectively. He was elected as a fellow to the American College of Surgeons and a diplomat to the American Board of Surgery. He received numerous accolades throughout his career.

His passion for trauma medicine resulted in him being named State Trauma Director. In this capacity he was a representative to the American College of Surgeons for over twenty-five years. He worked with the committee to create national guidelines for Advanced Trauma Life Support. He taught the first ATLS course in the state of Mississippi and taught ATLS courses around the county. He also served twenty-seven years as the State Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services.

Governor Kirk Fordice tapped Dr. Hopson to chair the State’s Committee on Health Care. During this time, he was instrumental in passing Mississippi’s ATLS law, creating levels of trauma centers throughout the state. Governor Ronnie Musgrove appointed him to serve on the Mississippi State Board of Health.

He served as president of the Mississippi State Medical Association from 1999-2000 and was a delegate to the American Medical Association for eight years.

Dr. Hopson was a former associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and was named to the 2016 Medical Center Hall of Fame.

He served his country for eighteen years, ten of those being command surgeon of the 412th Army Engineering Command.

Dr. Hopson devoted a large portion of his time to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi. He was elected president of the Alumni Association from 2001-2003. He was later selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame.

He served as Chairman of the Board of the Miss Mississippi Organization for over twenty-five years. He and his wife, Pat were instrumental in preparing representatives for the Miss America Pageant and providing millions of dollars of scholarship for the education of young women throughout the state. In 2017 he received the Miss Mississippi Organization Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Hopson was active and supportive of many charities in Vicksburg. He was a loyal and active member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church as chairman of the administrative board and Sunday School teacher for over 50 years. He served on numerous local Boards including the Red Carpet Bowl Committee (Chairman), Hinds Community College, Merchants Bank, and RiverHills Bank. He proudly served as team doctor for Warren Central High School for many years. Dr. Hopson gave generously of his time and resources to help countless people throughout the community, state, and nation.

He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Pat Hopson; his brother Jimmy Hopson (Sue) of Delhi, LA; children Karen Hopson Hall (Reggie) of Dallas TX; Kathy Hopson Ricks (Kerry) of Vicksburg; Senator W. Briggs Hopson III (Ali) of Vicksburg; and Jay Hopson (Michelle) of Hattiesburg; and grandchildren Anna Kate Moen Modisett (Brian), Tanner Hall, Neal Ricks, Travis Hall, Liam Hopson, Walt Hopson, Wesley Ricks, Hyde Hopson, Hannah Hopson, and Jane Hopson.

The Hopson Family wishes to thank the following:
Dr. Murray Whitaker, Dr. Paul Pierce, Dr. Sam Pierce, Dr. Tom Sligh, Dr. Carlos Latorre, Dr. Ruth Fredericks, Dr. David Fagan, Dr. Scott McPherson, the staff of Encompass Hospice, the staff and medical providers at Merit Health River Region, Charlene Moore, Janice Brewer, Rose Nixon and Kay Murrell.

The family invites the public to a drive-by visitation at the Vicksburg Convention Center, located at 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd. from 1:30 to 3:30pm on Friday, June 26.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following:
  • Dr. W. B. Hopson Jr. Memorial Scholarship at the Miss Mississippi Corporation;
  • Crawford Street United Methodist Church;
  • The University of Mississippi Foundation;
  • The American Heart Association;
  • Or a charity of your choice.


Posted by Pat Hopson on June 28, 2020
To each of you who have shared your stories about your time with Briggs or have offered your condolences, I would like to express my gratitude at this sorrowful time. We know you will miss him, as we will, and your caring has brought great comfort to all of us.
Affectionately, Pat
Posted by Debbie Busma on June 26, 2020
Mrs. Hopson,
You and your beautiful family are heavy on my heart and in my thoughts and prayers. I was so honored to have served as an assistant to Dr Hopson. It can be so humbling to work with so many highly trained and educated medical professionals, but he had a way of making everyone feel valued. When waiting for meetings, he often told me the story of how he met you, won the heart of your mother so he could date you, and how blessed he was that you became his wife. Of all that he achieved, I knew that you, your children, and grandchildren were the most important part of his life. I can tell that his legacy of love and service to God will live on through each of you.
I pray that God will comfort you until you see him again
Debbie Busma
Posted by Mary Scott Shepherd on June 26, 2020
My heart and my prayers are with you all through these difficult days. What a fine man, and so obvious to all the world how much his family meant to him. Know you are missing him very much. We can be sure that our Lord is holding him close.

Much love to all the Hopsons.

Mary Scott
Posted by Robert Walker on June 26, 2020
Our most sincere condolences are extended to Mrs. Hopson and Family on the passing of Dr. Hopson. Dr. Hopson did so much to heal our people physically and to bring positive recognition to the City Vicksburg.

You will be missed, Dr. Hopson. Rest in Peace.                                

Robert M. Walker and Family
Posted by Ramey Falkner on June 25, 2020
My prayers and thoughts are with you all. What a great, kind, fun loving man that always welcomed me wherever we were!
Hotty Toddy, Dr. Hopson!
Posted by David Ellis on June 25, 2020
We had such a unique friendship over many years with so many lasting memories that I will continue to cherish forever. You will be missed by family and friends alike. You will look down on us all while you sit at the right hand of the Lord.
Posted by Lee Waring on June 24, 2020
What a blessing it has been through the years to be involved with Briggs during our pageant years and at Crawford Street UMC. He was always the quintessential Southern Gentleman. His untiring efforts and dedication to provide educational opportunities for women to prepare them for their future life was inspiring to all. I feel honored that he and Pat have been in my life through the years. Lots of love and sympathy to your family. God bless you all.
Lee Waring
Posted by Becky Sills on June 24, 2020
Doug and I were so saddened to hear the news of Dr. Hopson's passing. He was truly a blessing to be around during our years in Vicksburg. He had such a contagious smile and wonderful wit ... Always such a gentleman...Our condolences go out to Mrs. Pat and the entire family....

Sincerely... Doug and Becky Sills
Posted by Bill Renovich on June 24, 2020
I was sorry to hear of the death of a dear friend of whom I greatly admired. He graciously befriended me during our service together with the Ole Miss Alumni Association. Our early morning walks from the Alumni House, in the dark before the campus woke up, during football seasons and other Ole Miss events will always be remembered. He was a mentor to me and an example of a southern gentleman who loved Ole Miss. Your contributions to your state, your community and your University will forever be remembered. Rest In Peace my friend. 
Posted by Wade Spruill, Jr. on June 24, 2020
In 1976, Dr. Hopson and I met and started our long journey together after I selected him to be my Medical Director for the Mississippi Emergency Medical Services program. Our partnership lasted until we both resigned/retired in 2000, but our friendship continued and will forever. Space will not allow me to share what Briggs means to me, but he means so much to so many people. We worked hard, but we always had fun during our labors. His work is memorialized in Mississippi's health care system. 
I love and miss you, partner.
Respectively,
Wade N. Spruill, Jr.
Posted by Jean Hill on June 24, 2020
We are so very sorry for the loss of Dr. Briggs Hopson. We have so many wonderful memories of our times together with Briggs and Pat. Medical meetings, pageants, dinners, Ole Miss Alumni events--so much fun! We will miss him but cherish our friendship with him. Our prayers are with Pat and the Hopson Family. Jean and Edward Hill
Posted by Stanley B Kline on June 24, 2020
Briggs was a genuine and caring friend to all of us who were privileged to be in his presence. He will surely be missed by us, but his positive impact on this community and state will be perpetuated for generations.

May God's Blessings be with all of you in the days ahead.

Stan Kline
Posted by Bill May on June 24, 2020
Dr. Hopson was a giant tree in the Forest of Life and made the world a much better place in so many ways. It was a joy and honor to know him.
His legacy is his family and you each embody his goodness and kindness.
Love to all of you and please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill May
Posted by Walter McCallumt on June 24, 2020
Always enjoyed talking to Dr. Hopson. Life well lived and touched so many . Prayers to Hopson family.
Posted by Joe Rankin on June 23, 2020
So many wonderful memories. What a legacy Briggs and Pat have left to so many. Briggs had such a gift... a gift of making people feel special.
He had the gift of healing through medicine.. a gift of seeing undeveloped potential.. a gift of making things happen...And always making us better people for having been his friend.
We will miss you my friend but we celebrate the memories you left with us
Posted by Mary Sharp Rayner on June 23, 2020
I am heart broken to know that my friend, mentor. big brother Briggs is not going to sit with me at Ole Miss Alumni Meetings and tell me how much he loves his Alumna Mater. We worked so closely together for the years we served together at Ole Miss. A very important light has gone out in the Ole Miss Family. Jim and I cherished his friendship and grieve that he is no longer with us.
Posted by Jeanine Griffith on June 23, 2020
What a wonderful life lived. Dr. Hopson was just good as gold. He gave so much of himself to our community and state. He is a shining example of living in humility and service. I am grateful to have worked as a nurse under his thoughtful leadership. He was a constant presence of support to nurses and he was loved and appreciated by so many. Thank you Dr. Hopson- may you rest in peace. I loved to see Dr. Hopson at the ballfield. It was so clear how proud he was of his grandchildren and how much he adored his family. Sincerest condolences to the Hopson family. Dr. Hopson was a positive light in this community and I will miss his presence in it.
Respectfully,
Jeanine, Tommy, Dale and Drew Griffith

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Pat Hopson on June 28, 2020
To each of you who have shared your stories about your time with Briggs or have offered your condolences, I would like to express my gratitude at this sorrowful time. We know you will miss him, as we will, and your caring has brought great comfort to all of us.
Affectionately, Pat
Posted by Debbie Busma on June 26, 2020
Mrs. Hopson,
You and your beautiful family are heavy on my heart and in my thoughts and prayers. I was so honored to have served as an assistant to Dr Hopson. It can be so humbling to work with so many highly trained and educated medical professionals, but he had a way of making everyone feel valued. When waiting for meetings, he often told me the story of how he met you, won the heart of your mother so he could date you, and how blessed he was that you became his wife. Of all that he achieved, I knew that you, your children, and grandchildren were the most important part of his life. I can tell that his legacy of love and service to God will live on through each of you.
I pray that God will comfort you until you see him again
Debbie Busma
Posted by Mary Scott Shepherd on June 26, 2020
My heart and my prayers are with you all through these difficult days. What a fine man, and so obvious to all the world how much his family meant to him. Know you are missing him very much. We can be sure that our Lord is holding him close.

Much love to all the Hopsons.

Mary Scott
Recent stories
Shared by Donna Bozarth on June 24, 2020
I knew Briggs (and Pat) through my involvement with the Miss Mississippi organization. Like so many of us, the relationships we found within the Miss America community were very special. The memories of all those past Atlantic City days proves the value of lifelong friendships. So many of us have reached the age where we are beginning to lose those friends to their final resting place. I know that Briggs, Joe and Gail, Bob, and many others from that special time are planning a reunion like no other!  It will truly be a day of rejoicing and lots of laughter. God bless you Briggs and thank you for all you  have done in your life to make life better for others! 

Pillar of Strength

Shared by Akemi Moore on June 23, 2020
I met Dr Hopson at River Region, where I started my nursing career. He was always so nice to me, and greeted everyone he saw. It seemed he had time for everyone. Dr Hopson exemplified the true essence of respecting the sanctity of life and dignity of every individual with courage and compassion. In every article I have read about his work and life, he dedicated his time and most of all himself. And I wondered to myself, while he was away from home so much, how his family must of sacrificed so our community could have such a great leader, pillar of strength. Thank you so much to every member of The Hopson Family for sharing Dr Hopson with us. His life and legacy will never be forgotten.
One of my favorite memories of him was watching him strut into the Viking Stadium with his Alcorn State gear on, with his family. I’m not an Alcornite, but my husband is Class of ‘93. We couldn’t have been more proud that night!!! As he was supporting his son, Coach Hopson. I hope and pray that the younger generations of this community can learn about Dr Hopson and become outstanding pillars of their communities. To The Hopson Family, I pray that you have comfort, strength, and courage during this time. Although Dr. Hopson has started on his next journey, he left us the blueprint on how to transform ourselves into remarkable individuals. Thank you so much

Akemi Evans-Moore