February 2, 1924 - August 24, 2020
Beloit, WI -- Robley "Bob" W. Hopper, 96, of Beloit, WI passed away on Monday, August 24, 2020 at Autumn Lake Healthcare. He was born February 2, 1924 in Beloit, WI, the son of Everet G. and Eva E. (Beck) Hopper. Bob was a 1942 graduate of Beloit High School. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in February of 1943 and stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Bob spent 8 months taking infantry training and heard there was a need for pilots so he transferred to the U.S. Air Force ending up at the University of Missouri. During Bob's time in college the Air Force had cleared the sky of enemy planes and needed all the ground forces they could get to help finish the war. He ended up with the 103rd Infantry Division in Texas for 4 months then was sent to Marca, France where they opened a 2nd front, hoping to finish the war, which they did after 14 months. Bob was a staff sergeant and covered South France, Germany, Austria, The Brenerpass and Northern Italy. He was part of 5 major battles including The Battle of the Bulge. Bob got wounded and spent 42 days in a hospital in Nancy/Leon France and went back to the front to finish the war. He finished 3 years of WWII with a Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star and 5 Battle Stars. In 1946 after being discharged, Bob agreed to lead a group of a dozen helpers to recruit 100 members so they could federalize and establish our National Guard again. He became the executive officer for 8 years serving as 1st Lieutenant and then retired. Bob married Alice M. Brady on September 26, 1948 in Second Congregational Church, Beloit, WI. She predeceased him on October 18, 2002.
Bob teamed up with three close friends who were WWII Vets and started a frozen food business. He sold it after 3 years and joined Rockford Organization for 7 years. Bob then helped Sears open a new store in Rockford, IL and retired on December 31, 1985 after 30 years of employment. He was a member of the South Beloit American Legion Post# 288, Beloit Elks Lodge #864 and held Local offices, State offices and National Offices, and was the past president and committee chairman for the Beloit Noon Lions Club. He was also a member of Second Congregational Church and was the former trustee for 8 years.
Survivors include his children: Larry (Belinda) Hopper, Barb Hopper, Kay (fiance, Greg Walters) Hulburt and Linda (Mike) Stapleford; grandchildren: Shannon Hopper, Brett (Ann) Hopper, Garry (Tiffany) Hopper, Justin (Heather Hoile) Hopper, Lori (Steve) Tubbs, Kari Hulburt and Ryan (Julie) Stapleford; great grandchildren: Julia, Owen and Natalie Hopper, Max and Evelyn Hopper, Tyler Tubbs, Avery and Brynn Stapleford; sister, Marilyn Perry; special friend, Jean Van Kampen; numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Donald and Wesley; sister, Phyliss Moseman; infant sister, April Hopper; and granddaughter, Bridget Stapleford.
Funeral service for Bob will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 28, 2020 in the Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, with Reverend Gene Van Galder officiating. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery with Military Rites accorded by the V.F.W. Post #2306. Visitation of remembrance will be 9:30 a.m. until the time of service Friday in the funeral home. Social distancing and face mask are required. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Bob's name to the Vets Roll. Online condolences and viewing of the funeral may be viewed at www.daleymurphywisch.com