William Luther Hopkins – age 89 of Fayetteville, Tennessee passed away September 16, 2012, at the home of his daughter, Susan Long, in Knoxville after a sudden illness. He was born on May 17, 1923, the youngest son of William Thomas Hopkins and Onnie Mullins Hopkins in Lincoln County, Tennessee. He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife Helen Joyce McFerrin Hopkins after 51 years of marriage. He is also preceded in death by his brothers and sisters: Linne Smith, Haskel Hopkins, James Hopkins, Irene Gray, Annie Ruth Hopkins, Frances Rowell and Louise Jones. He is survived by his daughter Susan Elizabeth Hopkins Long and son-in-law David Wilson Long of Knoxville. He is also survived by grandson David Wilson Long Jr. of New York, New York, granddaughter Catherine Elizabeth Long of Knoxville, and by sisters-in-laws Mrs. James Hopkins (Elizabeth) and Mrs. Mike McFerrin (Bonnie) both of Fayetteville, Tennessee. “Luther” was an active member of First Baptist Church in Fayetteville. He was a decorated veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Army. He was a member of the 184th Infantry, and his heavy mortar unit “island-hopped” from the Aleutian Islands, Southern Philippines, Leyte, Iwo Jima and Okinawa (among others) in the Pacific Theater operations. His tour of duty ended after VJ Day as a unit commander in the occupation of South Korea. Mr. Hopkins worked for NASA at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama for over 30 years until his retirement. His work included installation of electrical panels in the first Mercury and Gemini space flights, and later for the Apollo space flights. After his retirement from NASA, he continued farming in Fayetteville until 1997. The family asks that any memorials be made to First Baptist Church of Fayetteville, Tennessee, 210 N. Elk Avenue, Fayetteville, Tennessee 37334, or to Honor Air of Knox County, Tennessee, 7536 Taggart Lane, Knoxville, Tennessee 37938.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at Higgins Funeral Home, 213 E. Market Street, Fayetteville, Tennessee 37334 (931-433-2544). A gravesite funeral service will be held at Blanche Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012. Blanche Cemetery is located on Highway 110 (Ardmore Highway) in Blanche, Tennessee. x are by Higgins Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.