In Memory of




Obituary for Herbert Johnson Hopkins

Herbert Johnson Hopkins, age 91, of Wooster, entered into rest on Monday, January 31, 2022 at West View Healthy Living in Wooster after a period of declining health.

He was born in 1930 to Cora Agnew Hopkins and Claude Hopkins in Cuba, Illinois, one of eventually 13 children. The family, originally from southwest Virginia, experienced the depths of the Depression and poverty in the 1930s-40s, but developed lifelong relationships and remained close. Herb took great pride in the WWII service of his four older brothers, Ed (Army), Clyde (Navy), Ralph (Army) and Dave (Navy). The family was fortunate that all four sons came home from active duty safe and sound. He and his sisters Margaret and Ruby helped to care for their younger siblings, Bill, Hazel, Tom, Mary Lou and Bonnie. Herb had a short stint in the Army and then worked a series of jobs, including railroad construction, at a distillery and other manufacturing companies which gave rise to a number of stories of life on “the road”.

Herb met Ethel Mae Houser in Indianapolis in 1954, as they both worked at the same laundry delivery service. A bit of a rogue in those days, he began attending church with Ethel and committed to a lifelong faith that sustained him through both good and bad times, giving up drinking, smoking and dancing, three of his favorite pastimes. They married in 1955, had their first son, Thomas in 1957 and second, Timothy in 1960.

Herb and Ethel moved to Ethel’s hometown of Wooster, Ohio to be closer to her family in 1958 and he remained there for the rest of his life. Herb worked at The Akron Brass Company as a machinist for over thirty years. He was a long time union steward, dealing with labor issues as well as supporting the workforce. He was also a bus driver in the Wooster City School District, a job that he loved. He retired in 1994, working part time as a security guard during retirement.

Herb’s wife Ethel died in 1988. He missed her greatly and their activities as members of the Wooster Baptist Temple first and later, the Dalton Baptist Church. He took great delight in his grandchildren Brandy, Cherie, Dustin, Rebecca, Benjamin and Stephen. During his retirement, he was able to visit with family and friends, and assist his son Tim, who was having many health issues. Tim passed away in 2001. Herb regularly attended family reunions back in Illinois. He went to Hawaii in 2003, to celebrate his granddaughter Rebecca’s graduation from high school. From that day forward, he was amazed at paying $5.00 for a cup of coffee while there. Anyone familiar with Herb knows his passion for coffee!

Herb was kind and charitable, always ready to lend a helping hand. He also had an exceptional wit and dry sense of humor, which many people experienced and enjoyed. Although he experienced loneliness later in his life, he continued to be active in his church and community circle. He enjoyed simple pleasures, such as biscuit gravy at Bob Evans or pancakes at a Wooster institution, The Parlor, often with his friend Susie. Herb had a sweet tooth his entire life. Many remember the pineapple upside cakes he made for holidays and bake sales. He always looked forward to Lerch’s donuts during the fall county fair season.

One of his greatest joys was finally owning a new car during his retirement, breaking the chain of new “used” cars he had throughout his life. Not surprisingly, he gave the car to one of his grandnephews when he was no longer able to drive. Herb’s abiding goal was to hold a winning lotto ticket, not for the sake of the money, but just to say he won.

Herb loved country music and watching his Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns. Herb was at the Browns last championship game in 1964.

Herb lived his last years at West View Healthy Living under the care of a caring and generous team of nurses, aides, therapists and administrators. Our family is especially grateful for the care extended during the recent Covid-19 virus.

He is survived by his son, Thomas (Marsha Gutow) Hopkins of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; grandchildren, Rebecca A. Hopkins (James Hasik); Ben Hopkins (Katie Lim); Stephen Hopkins, Brandy Osborne; Cherie Hopkins and Dustin Hopkins; great-grandchildren, Marisa Hasik, Miranda Hasik, Samuel Hopkins and Vivian Hopkins; a brother, Thomas Hopkins and a sister, Ruby Bishop both of Illinois.

In addition to his parents and beloved wife, he is preceded in death by his son, Tim Hopkins and his ten siblings.

Herb will have a private interment to take place at Sherwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Wooster at the convenience of the family

A memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Custer-Glenn Funeral Home in Wooster with Rev. Dave Greegor and Rev. Dan Greegor officiating.

The service will also be streamed on Custer Glenn's Facebook page at:

Visitation will be one hour prior (10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.) to services at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to: West View Healthy Living c/o Herbert Hopkins Memorial Fund, 1715 Mechanicsburg Rd. Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Words of private or public condolences may be shared with the family at: