Michael Ray Hopkins, 61, Berryton, passed away peacefully at his home Dec. 16, 2009. He was born April 2, 1948 in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Lawrence and Mary (MacArthur) Hopkins.
Michael lived in the Topeka area all of his life and graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in 1966. He served aboard the USS Midway during the Vietnam War as a reciprocating engine mechanic. Following his naval discharge in 1971 he joined the Kansas National Guard where he developed a lifelong passion for helicopters, particularly the sky cranes. Michael spent his entire life around machines and engines and at one time was a part-owner of Topeka Renovations Body Shop. In later years he worked for Car Quest.
Over the years Michael enjoyed increasing his proficiency at pool at the expense of his friends’ wallets. His friends will always remember his dry wit and irreverent sense of humor.
In 1990, he renewed his friendship with one of his high school girlfriends. This quickly became a forever love that does not end with his death.
Michael is survived by his soul mate and loving partner Kathleen Payne, her daughters Cari Clark and Robin Payne, her grandsons, Aaron and Brian Clark, his mother Mary Hopkins, his brothers Gary (Corinne) Hopkins and Mark (Jayne) Hopkins, his sister Becky Streeter, 4 nephews and 2 nieces. He will also be missed by his long-time friends Mike Griffin and Fred Rice. He was preceded in death by his father Lawrence Hopkins.
A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m., Monday, Dec. 21, at the Penwell-Gabel Southeast Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care Hospice Services, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606.