Oct 5, 2020Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association life member Hopkins dies
Edward C. Hopkins, 98, of Falls, died on Sept. 21 at the home of his son Harry and daughter-in-law Ruth in Zephyrhills, Florida, after a brief illness.
According to his obituary, he was born on July 1, 1922 to the late Harry and Avis (Dorsheimer) Hopkins and raised with his eight siblings at the family farm in Newton.
“Few men better represent the spirit of America than Ed Hopkins.” so said U.S. Senator Hugh Scott in a speech delivered in Tunkhannock in 1973.
A descendent of the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, Ed possessed a distinguished ancestry, which included Stephen Hopkins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
But Ed was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth or with inherited riches. After graduating from Newton-Ransom High School in 1940, Ed followed the steps of his father and grandfather and became a farmer and married his high school sweetheart, the late Helen (Keihn). In 1942, he became the state president of the Future Farmers of America.
In time, Ed developed innovative means of irrigation and hybrid seeds that put him at the forefront of Pennsylvania vegetable growers.
He worked the fields with his family from morning to night. By growing crops from his own seeds and cultivating crops using natural farming techniques, he produced prize winning produce that became the envy of the agricultural community. A Hopkins tomato continues to be the standard for quality and is the brand of choice in the area’s best restaurants.
He became a founding father of the Scranton Cooperative Farm Market; was elected the president of the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA); and in 2012 became the winner of a PVGA lifetime membership award.
Throughout his long life, Ed manifested fierce independence, a strong commitment to family and American values, and a love of the land to which he will now return.
A model citizen, Ed received an award for voting in every federal, state, and municipal election for 77 straight years. He was a voracious reader, who read a small stack of newspapers and magazines every day and remained profoundly conversant on every issue of the day.
Ed was a lifelong member of the Waverly Masonic Lodge.
He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, his sisters Marian Cooley, Mildred Pretzer, and Francis Babb, and his brother Robert (Bob) Hopkins. He is survived by five children, including Beverly Talley of Santa Monica, CA, Patricia Williams and her husband Paul of Clarks Green, E. Harry and his wife Ruth of Zephyrhills, FL, Cathy Mazaleski and her husband Peter of Newton-Ransom, and Helene and her husband Michael Colaneri of Scranton; brothers Bruce of Wyomissing and Roy of Clarks Summit, sisters Helen G. Hopkins of Scranton and Ruth Warburton of Tunkhannock; former daughter-in-law Nancy Hopkins of Falls; his grandchildren Mark and William Hopkins, Laura Rosencrance, Lenny Mazaleski, and Katherine Grabau of Los Angeles, CA; seven great grandchildren; four great great grandchildren; step grandchildren and step great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.