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Theodore L. Hopkins

Born: Tue., Mar. 20, 1945
Died: Sat., Nov. 21, 2015


2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Fri., Nov. 27, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Nov. 27, 2015
Location: Houghton Wesleyan Church

Memorial Service

3:00 PM Sat., Nov. 28, 2015
Location: Houghton Wesleyan Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers


Fillmore --- Theodore L. “Ted” Hopkins, 70, retired dairy farmer and Allegany County Legislator, died peacefully in his home, Saturday, November 21, 2015. A successful dairy farmer for 40 years, he also served his community and county as Hume Township Supervisor for 24 years and as Allegany County District 1 Legislator for 10 years. Born March 20, 1945, he lived his life by the Golden Rule and was a beloved and respected member of his community.


Ted’s lifelong goal was to be a dairy farmer.  Growing up in East Aurora, he traveled each summer to Fillmore to learn farming from his grandfather. In sixth grade he traveled the 55-mile trip from East Aurora to Fillmore by bicycle, with nothing more than an odometer, 5 candy bars, and a rain slicker.  He made it before lunch.  


As a young man, Ted enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as an Agricultural Economics major at Cornell University, where he would meet Judith Dodds Hopkins, his devoted wife and constant friend. An active member of Alpha Zeta fraternity, Ted served as House Manager for two years.  By the time he graduated, Ted had purchased the Fillmore farm from his grandparents Lester and Bernice (Smith) Rees.

Ted and Judy were married in 1968 and have made their home in Fillmore for 47 years.   Now in its fifth generation, Riverland Dairy Farms, Inc, has been a continuously working farm for one hundred years.


In forty years of farming, Ted received numerous dairy production awards and was selected as the 1984 Young Dairyman of the Year and the 1976 Conservation Farmer of the Year.  He was a 1991 graduate of LEAD NY, the Empire State agricultural leadership institute.  He served on the Board of Directors of Farm Credit of Western New York for 25 years and the Farm Service Agency for 17 years.


Son of John and Josephine [nee Rees] Hopkins of East Aurora, NY, Ted and his family attended Baker Memorial United Methodist Church.  Mr. Hopkins graduated in 1963 from Iroquois Central High school, where he was Junior and Senior Class Treasurer. As a high school athlete, he earned the prestigious distinction of being an 8-Letter Varsity Sports Athlete, recognizing  achievement in eight separate varsity sports teams over four years.  Ted was captain of several teams, including football, basketball, and baseball.  He was a fierce competitor and proud teammate, remembered with admiration by lifelong friends.


Elected to the Allegany County Legislature in 2005, Mr. Hopkins served as Majority Leader as well as Chairman and Vice Chair for several committees including Ways & Means, Planning & Economic Development, Budget, Public Safety, Public Works, Court Facilities and County Space Needs, Compensation & Benefits, Court Facilities Financial Impact, and Planning Board, where he was charged with identifying the scope and format of the County’s Comprehensive Planning Process.


Prior to election to the Allegany County Board of Legislators, Mr. Hopkins was a member of the County Agricultural & Farmland Protection and Development Advisory Boards.  As Legislator, he continued to serve on the Board of Directors for the Soil & Water Conservation District Board, as a member of the Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board, Allegany County Industrial Development Agency, Allegany County Industrial and Commercial Incentive Board, County Comprehensive Planning Committee, and the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Group.


Mr. Hopkins was a 2010 graduate of the NYS Dennis A. Pelletier County Government Institute, member of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Taxation & Finance Committee, member of the NYSAC Blue Ribbon Task Force.  Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board presented him with the Local Government Award and the Marden B. Cobb Award, which are given for outstanding service and support in achievement of regional goals.


In the early 80’s, Mr. Hopkins was elected Town Supervisor of Hume Township, an office he served for 24 years.  Under his leadership, the Town of Hume and Village of Fillmore combined and centralized services to increase efficiency and reduce government costs. 


Lifelong friend William Byrnes offered the following statement to explain why Ted was so loved and respected by all:  “For a fairly complex man in some ways, it was the basic things about Ted which drew others to him.


“His honesty was absolute; he did not lie, or even shade the truth. He never spoke unkindly of others, even about those with whom he disagreed. His smile was captivating and his laughter was contagious.


“No matter how bad or good one might have felt, if you were around Ted, you felt better. His work ethic was truly remarkable. If something needed doing, Ted simply did it; quietly, expertly and without fanfare.


“Ted always had time for his friends even though making his family business a success often had him working well before sun up and well after sundown. Ted made and kept so many friends over so many decades because those who knew him were made better, simply because ‘we knew him’.”


Mr. Hopkins is survived by his wife and children, Matthew D. Hopkins  (Cristin Winegard), Peter A. Hopkins (Amber Belford) of Fillmore, and Patricia M. Hopkins Hutchinson (Mark Hutchinson) of Ellicottville, NY.

Mr. Hopkins was especially proud of his eight grandchildren: Hunter, Dalton, Raena, Emma, Olivia, Ashley, Petey, Christian. He is also survived by his brother J. Stephen Hopkins, (Anne M.) of Hopkinton, NY, and extended family including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.


Family and friends may gather from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2015 at the Houghton Wesleyan Church where a memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. Wesley Oden will officiate. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Fillmore.


Memorials if desired to: the Houghton Wesleyan Church or Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo.

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Condolence Booklet

Jim and Sharon Mitchell
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Sending condolences to all the Hopkins Family. Ted was the best of the best. We will sorowly miss him, but not forget him. May he rest in peace.

Katherine E. Moore
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Dearest Hopkins family,
Judy, Trisha, boys, Dan and I are so sorry for your loss. Your hubby and dad was a wonderful man. Always showing grace to others. Trisha, I love your photo on FBook (from your wedding)! Your dad was so proud of his little princess. We will bring you all before the throne of God with prayers for the family. May you find comfort in Jesus. We love you.

Howard Byer
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Ted was a terrific guy. A man of integrity and honesty. Fillmore has lost someone that made a difference in his community whenever he could. He will be sadly missed for sure! I remember how after speaking to Ted about any given issue I always felt better afterwards. My condolences to his family and most importantly, thank you for sharing him through the years...Rest in Peace Ted

Bruce and Kathie Brenneman
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Kathie and I send love and sympathy to the Hopkins family. It was our privilege to know Ted for many years and have always appreciated his humor, kindness and friendship. May God surround you all with his love, peace and comfort.

Mike Johel
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Judy and family, I was saddened to learn of Ted's passing. He is such a great guy! In the short time I knew him, I very much enjoyed talking with him and trading stories. May he now rest in peace.

Vic and Char Carpenter
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Judy, very sorry to learn of Ted's death. Fond memories of you both when your Matt and our Eric were friends! Praying for your family as you go through this difficult time.

Sam Curran
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
I was so sad to hear of Teds passing, I had the privilege of working with him on the town and he was an intelligent, practical and funny man to work with, laughter and kindness was his gift and he shared them both. My prayers and thoughts are with you all!

Brenda Green-Vaughn
   Posted Mon November 23, 2015
Judy, Trish, Matt, Pete and families my heart goes out to you. May you find peace that he is no longer suffering. He will be watching over you and smiling.

Marie Woodard
   Posted Tue November 24, 2015
To the Hopkins family, especially Matt and family-
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers during this difficult time, and season.


Steve Cole
   Posted Tue November 24, 2015
I wish to send my most sincere condolences to Judy, and the family, on the passing of Ted.

I suspect I met Ted when we were both entering our sophomore year of high school, at one of the Allegany County Farm Bureau’s chicken barbeques of the 1960s. My father and Ted’s grandfather were close friends, and we were introduced to each other, along with my younger brother, Dick. Both of us entered Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the autumn of 1963, and we’d see each other frequently in classes and at the College’s Mann Library we both used very often for study. My brother entered Cornell in 1965, and became a fellow brother of Ted’s at the Alpha Zeta fraternity.

Following our graduation from Cornell in 1967, we both returned to Allegany County to begin our careers – Ted in Fillmore/Hume, and myself on our family farm in Cuba. Ted and I would see each other often at various functions, but unfortunately, our paths diverged after my father and I dispersed our farming operation in 1977.

Ted showed all of the signs of the man he would become in his early years. The published obituary certainly bears this out. As I read it, I found myself nodding about the level of service he gave to the Township of Hume, to Fillmore and Allegany County – not surprised in the least.

If there is anything I could add to that accounting of Ted’s life, it probably would be it only touched the high points. He had a very balanced outlook toward life, it seemed. When he was serious, he seemed to project the warmth of his personality into a discussion, often lacing it with his own particular brand of wry humor, but leaving a clear understanding of his position. And, when he was enjoying life…well, he knew how to do that too.

For all of us who knew Ted, loved him as a wife, a son, a daughter, as grandchildren, as friends – it was always clear there were very few people who have exhibited level of the character of Ted Hopkins. I wish the fates had not caused us to lose touch with one another, but I, for one am privileged to say that I counted him as a friend.

To the family, to the Fillmore/Hume community and to what I know are a multitude of friends, Ted was a very rare and very precious person…a gift for all of us to treasure forever.

Godspeed, Ted…you gave far, far more than you took, and you have left us much richer for you presence here among us.

Steve Cole
Medina, Ohio

Dawen & Jerry Clark
   Posted Wed November 25, 2015
so sorry for your loss. Ted will be greatly missed. Thoughts & prayers to all the family.

Thad Zyck
   Posted Fri November 27, 2015
Matt - thinking of you - I am sorry for your loss. Thad Zyck

Philip G. Stockin
   Posted Sat November 28, 2015
Judy and family....So sorry to hear of Ted's passing and deeply regret I am out of town and unable to attend his memorial service. Ted was a wonderful mentor and fellow supervisor in town government. I learned much from him and value highly the experiences we shared in our efforts to make things better for folks in ours and neighboring townships. When Ted resigned from town government to serve at the county level, I knew our loss was the county's gain. He has indeed made a positive difference in that position as well. I will greatly miss his sage advice and his friendship always sprinkled with a healthy sense of humor. May God bless you all and grant just what is needed each day going forward.

Tom Ernst
   Posted Fri December 04, 2015
Sorry to hear of Ted's death. We lived next door to each other on North Street in East Aurora in the 1950s and often played together. I remember Jack the dog and the tree branch that had turned to rock near the back door that was a souvenir from a trip to the "Petrified Forest." I can remember the new house off of Maple Street and driving the old car that was in the side yard. Even back then Ted wanted to be a farmer. We gradually lost touch but he remains in my thoughts and prayers.

Tim Burke
   Posted Wed December 09, 2015
I went to elementary school with Teddy, and we played at the Boys Club and its camp. It was fun being Teddy's friend whether it was playing football on North St. with him and his brother Steve and the Ernst boys or just being kids in the 1950's. He has had a remarkable life and will be missed by all.

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