The three Fs were very important to Bill Hopman: family‚ firefighting‚ and flying.
Born August 1‚ 1957‚ to the late Ray and Frances (Deal) Hopman in Santa Barbara‚ California‚ Bill was raised and attended school in Solvang‚ California‚ where his family operated a plumbing business. He is a 1975 graduate of Santa Ynez Valley High School. He went on to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada Reno.
While helping out in the family plumbing business on a service call‚ Bill met a pretty young lady named Lisa Wintersteen with whom he later commuted to junior college‚ As their love for one another grew‚ the couple was married in the backyard of Bill’s parents’ ranch on July 14‚ 1984. The couple was blessed with one precious son.
Bill served the Quincy Fire Department for 14 years and was promoted to captain in 2010. He was a mentor to new firefighters‚ taking great pride in their success at mastering skills. He was Captain Fix-It‚ able to fix whatever was broken at the station. He died of a heart attack after fighting a chimney fire. His son‚ Robert‚ continues in his footsteps as a firefighter for the Quincy Fire Department.
Off duty‚ Bill piloted a Learjet 35 all over the United States for a drag racing team. At age 17‚ he received his private pilot’s license and went on to haul freight for Union Flights from 1984-2000 before becoming the chief pilot for Foxen Canyon Motorsports and Alan Johnson Performance Engines for the past 12 years. Just two days before his death‚ Bill gave his first flying lesson to his son‚ Robert.
When not helping out at the fire department‚ Bill could be found at his second home‚ his hangar on the Quincy Gansner Airport. Be it working on his Cessna 210‚ PiperPacer‚ North American AT-6‚ sharing his expertise with other aircraft owners on the field‚ or working on his classic Ford Mustang and other automobiles‚ Bill was doing what he loved. A drag racing enthusiast‚ Bill enjoyed helping out on Alan Johnson’s Funny and Top Fuel Cars‚ starting when he and Alan were youngsters together.
Bill was always there to lend a hand to those in need. He found great pleasure in helping out with the Johnsville Junior Ski Team and co-coaching his son in the sport. He was also an assistant leader with Troop 151 of the Boy Scouts of America.
In passing‚ Bill leaves his loving wife of 26 years‚ Lisa‚ and the pride of his life‚ his son‚ Robert Henry Hopman‚ He is also survived by brothers-in-law John and Bill Wintersteen and mother-in-law‚ Nancy Wintersteen.