Obituary of Benjamin Chester Hopkins
Benjamin Chester Hopkins was born in Monroe, Michigan on January 13, 1946. He was one of three sons born to Chester and Rose (Gelso) Hopkins. Ben attended Jefferson High School in Newport, Michigan. Stationed at Paris Island, South Carolina during the Vietnam War, he proudly served his country as a United States Marine.
Ben was self-employed as a contractor and handyman his entire working life. He had an eye for detail and couldn’t walk by imperfect work without pausing to acknowledge the flaws. While working at a nursing home, fate intervened and brought him to meet the love of his life, the former Juanita Clifford. Juanita had wished upon a shooting star to meet a man who was as laid back as she was. After six years of courtship, the couple wed on September 13, 2002 at a preacher’s home in Angola, Indiana.
In his younger years, Ben enjoyed hunting deer. He later took up fishing off the docks in Monroe. Ben often tuned into cooking and food related programming on television to learn new recipes. His mother’s Italian roots taught him to make delicious spaghetti. The two-day process began with him simmering a pot of homemade sauce for hours. Ben also made a fantastic chicken noodle soup. The first meal he ever made for his future wife was beef stroganoff. Juanita found it to be so good she proclaimed to Ben that she’d marry him just for his skills in the kitchen!
A man of many talents, Ben could play the acoustic guitar. He often strummed the tunes of his favorite country musicians, especially Willie Nelson. He was also a gifted artist. Ben created his artwork using a pencil and charcoal medium. His subject was often landscapes, scenery such as a covered bridge, and animals. The last piece he drew was a striking portrait of a wolf. Ben was blessed with one son and two daughters and seven grandchildren whom he loved deeply. He shared his many interests with them, teaching them to fish, draw, and play the guitar. Among the many things Ben will be remembered for, his peculiar trait of keeping mints and stacks of paper towels nearby at all times will not easily be forgotten!
Benjamin Chester Hopkins, age 77, of Monroe, passed away at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital on Friday, December 29, 2023. His passing was preceded by his parents; his son: Gregory Hopkins; and his brother-in-law: Jackie Clifford.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of twenty-seven years: Juanita Hopkins; two daughters: Shawna (Keith) Guyot and Cassandra (Jeff) Perkins; two step-daughters: Dana Maddux and Raelynn Maddux; step-son Todd Maddux; seven grandchildren: Steven, Brandy, Ben, Jasper, Stephanie, Kayla, and KateLynn who dearly loved their “Papa”; thirteen great grandchildren; and his two brothers: Gerald Hopkins and Anthony (Denise) Hopkins.
A private graveside service with military honors was held on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle, Michigan. Benjamin’s care has been entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185.