“Leo” Hopson, 78, died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Saturday, Oct. 15. Leonard Tatum Hopson, Jr. was born in Lima, Peru, to Leonard and Mary Heloise Reid Hopson. He attended The American School of Lima, San Marcos Military Academy, TX, (1957-60), and graduated in 1963 from Sewanee Military Academy, TN, where he had been on the cross country, tennis and soccer (1963 captain) teams.
He loved telling jokes and stories. He was a devoted sports fan with a deep knowledge of facts and statistics. Always a romantic, he spent hours using photography making gifts for family and friends that captured treasured memories. His father had instilled in him the importance of having principles and his military education stressed a code of honor. Thus, he lived by those principles and easily dismissed those who didn’t respect these values.
Completing two years at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, he joined the Army (1966-68) and served as a courier in the 1968 Tet Offensive, returning honorably discharged. He always treasured the memories of his brothers-in-arms and especially those who perished. He had grown up enjoying hunting wild game in Peru and the Amazon jungle but after his Vietnam service chose not to pick up a rifle again.
The majority of his career was in the tire and auto repair business. He started with Goodyear Tire & Rubber as a store manager in Burlington and Wilmington, NC which was then acquired by Perry Bros. Tire & Service. In 1992 he married Drucella (Smith) and a few years later gave up his job to take care of his beloved wife until her death in 2009. He had been predeceased in 1991 by his first wife Wanda (Meadows-Sills) whom he had married in 1979.
The family is grateful for the understanding and compassionate care provided by the staff of the fifth floor at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
Graveside service will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 11 am at the Carter Cemetery officiated by Reverend Eric Grubb. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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American Cancer Society
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