ASHTABULA — John G. Hoprich Jr., age 68, of Ashtabula, Ohio, previously of Jefferson, Ohio, passed away Friday evening, July 5, 2013, at his home after a two year struggle with cancer.
He was born Jan. 11, 1945, in Painesville, Ohio, the son of the late John and Mildred (Gerber) Hoprich Sr. John was raised with his sister on his parents beautiful fruit farm in Mentor. He spent much of his youth behind a tractor helping to plant acres and acres of strawberries, playing baseball with his friends and driving his sister crazy. He loved trains and spent much of his time at the railroad tracks watching them go by. His favorites were the steam locomotives.
A Veteran, John joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school and was honorably discharged after a tragic auto accident while stationed at Groton, Conn., Naval Base. He suffered disabling injuries for the rest of his life from that accident. John became a police officer for two years in Washington, DC. He found he loved to mow grass, so he often tried to help his wife in her lawncare and landscaping business when he was physically able.
John was very active with the Jefferson United Methodist Church, as a youth leader in his younger days and later as a liturgist and usher. He served on various committees and participated in Bible study classes, often by telephone when his health limited him. He delivered meals prepared by The Christian Café to shut-ins in the community. John was a very compassionate and kind servant of the Lord and was very dedicated in his faith.
He dearly loved his family and especially spending time with his grandchildren. He shared his love of model trains and often took his son and daughter (as youngsters) and grandchildren to the local railroad tracks to watch trains pass by and then find the flattened pennies they placed so carefully on the track. He loved the ocean, especially the Gulf of Mexico, sharing the last few winters with his wife in Florida. He loved to share his Navy days and police department stories with his family and friends, especially his good friend, Harlan. Music of all kinds was a favorite, topping the list was “Adagio for Strings” and “The Bee Gee’s” disco music, loved by both he and his wife.
John is survived by his wife of 38 years, Deborah (Van Dyke) Hoprich; a son, Thomas (Jennifer) Hoprich and their six children, Jordan, Sydney, Ryan, Mallory, Evan and Holly, all of Jacksonville, Fla.; a daughter, Aubrey (Raymond) Waldo and their four children, Alex, Addison, Damian and Taran John, all of Conneaut; a sister, Susan (Wayne) Niles of Rochester, N.Y.; nephews, Richard (Kris), Mark and John (Sonja) Niles; his former wife, Barbara (Bill) Barnes of Columbus; and many cousins.
A Memorial Service will be held 1 p.m., Saturday, July 13th, at the Jefferson United Methodist Church, 125 E. Jefferson St., Jefferson, with Pastor Dan Bilkert officiating. No visitation will be observed. Geneva Post #6846 of the VFW will provide Military Honors. A Celebration of Life luncheon will be held at the church following services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Jefferson United Methodist Church (above address), Hospice of the Western Reserve, 1166 Lake Ave., Ashtabula, Ohio 44004 or the American Cancer Society, 10501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106, envelopes will also be at the Church.
The Jefferson Home of FLEMING & BILLMAN FUNERAL DIRECTORS & CREMATION SERVICE, 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, is handling arrangements. Guest book and obituary at fleming-billman.com and starbeacon.com.