Monday, July 9, 2012

Buddy Will Always Be Loved and Remembered

This is my beloved nephew, Buddy, who was killed June 21, 2012 by a hit and run accident while he was out jogging before he went to work that day.    
He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, co-worker, and friend to many.  He was also a Christian man who served others and lived  his faith.  He will be missed by many, especially his wife, Heather, his autistic son, Garrison, and his daughters, Rachel, Kimbo, and Naddie.  My brother and his wife who are Buddy's parents, and his sisters, Melissa and Cassie, and their families, as well as many who are part of the extended family are also devastated, but are trying to see the positive things that have occurred during these difficult days. Heather's parents, brothers, sisters, and extended family have also felt the loss and have been there for Heather and will continue to be there for her.   Buddy's company, Kiewit Construction, have gone above and beyond to help out the family with expenses, support, and with long term financial help which  includes trust funds for each of the four children.  His church, friends, neighbors, Heather's co workers from the Y, and others who recognized this as such a tragedy have stepped up to the the plate and have successfully had fund raising events to help Heather and her family.  Also, there are two Buddy Hopkins Funds, a temporary 90 day fund with American Airlines Credit Union, and a more permanent one set up with Wells Fargo.  A Benefestival was held to benefit Buddy's family in Haslet, TX, and they raised $25,000 along with another smaller yard sale that netted about $1800.  The show of love and support has been overwhelming.

Here is a neat family picture.

This is a picture of my brother, Gary or Hoppy, and his wife, Rosemary, Buddy's parents.

Another tragedy occurred when the suspect of the hit and run that killed Buddy, Terry Knight, ended up hanging himself.  The Hopkins family had not sought revenge, but had decided to be compassionate towards him and his family as they struggled through the bad decisions that he had made relating to the incident.  After the suicide, the Hopkins family felt regret and remorse that another life had been taken.  Knight's family also requested that in lieu of flowers,  people donate to the Buddy Hopkins Fund.  Another family that faced such tragedy was able to be compassionate as well.  Faith can heal all wounds. 

This is his obituary.

The Sendera Ranch Benefest for Buddy Hopkins

Terry Knight Commits Suicide

A future event:  Buddy 5K Run

I am planning to participate with the Buddy 5K Run right here in Iowa.  You can do the same no matter where you live.  Just click on the above link.  I've been told they will mail you the T-shirt.  It's a fun way to donate to the family, to Autism Assoc., and  Special Olympics.

It was amazing that so many of Buddy's extended family were able to make the trip to Haslet for the funeral. Although a family gathering is a happy time, it's unfortunate that this was the reason.  Being together and having some fun at this time are part of the healing process.

Some fun pool time before the funeral.

Hanging out at one of the motels.

The funeral.  Buddy was an avid Alabama fan so the theme was Alabama.  Roll Tide is always appropriate.  I'm sure he was smiling.

My sisters and I with some of our cousins who attended the funeral, mostly from the local area, and one from San Antonio.

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