Col. Robert Arnold Hopkins, Jr. USAF (Retired,) age 54, of Elizabethton, passed away on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Col, Hopkins was the son of the late Robert Arnold Hopkins, Sr. and was born in Charleston, SC.

Col. Hopkins was a retired Commander of the 451st and 20th Maintenance Group in the United States Air Force. He graduated from the Citadel with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to establish an impressive 27-year military career.

Col. Hopkins was a hero, protector, fighter and leader. He loved cultivating an atmosphere of knowledge and nothing brought him more joy than watching those close to him succeed. Even after retirement, he strived to help is local community grow by being an active member of the IDEAS Group of Elizabethton-a group of locals focused on enhancing their town.

Gardening, hiking and building furniture were some of his favorite pastimes. Col. Hopkins was proud of his Scottish descent and honored his heritage through playing the bagpipes. Each year he would bring in the New Year by piping Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne” and his military call sign was “Highlander”.

Those left to cherish his memory include three daughters, Ehrin Fairey (Caleb), Queen Creek, AZ; Hilary Hopkins, Charleston, SC; Mikaela Hopkins, Atlanta, GA; two grandchildren, Asher Fairey, and Rowyn Fairey, both of Queen Creek, AZ; a brother, Glenn Hopkins; three sisters, Sarmite Schaefer, Laura Slavik, Jean Brooks and the mother of his children, Lana Hopkins, Evans, GA. Several nieces and nephews also survive, as well as his beloved Scottish terroir, Piper.

Hopkins’ funeral will be at Arlington National Cemetery at 0900 on November 17, 2017. Meet at the administration building at 0815. After the funeral service, meet at the officer club on Fort Myers at 214 Jackson Ave.

Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to the Col. Hopkins Project, C/O City of Elizabethton, 136 S. Sycamore Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643.

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Posted on: 2017-06-19

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