LaVerne Roy "Hoppy" Hoppman, 73, of Minot, died Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. To friends he would say, "Call me Hoppy or Santa."
Hoppy was born May 6, 1939, in Minot, the son of Emil and Yvonne Hoppman. He was raised and educated in Minot, attending Model High School, graduating in 1957. He attended college at Minot State University. He enlisted in the Army in January 1961, serving his country until his discharge in 1963.
Hoppy worked at Cenex Inc. as an accountant. His love of people and travel led him to work at Coach America for a few years, meeting new and interesting people on his journeys. He also brought joy to many children over a 10-year period as a professional Santa Claus. As Santa, his voyages took him to Arizona, South Carolina and New Orleans. He was also known lovingly as "Uncle Santa" to his great-nieces and great-nephew.
He treasured the open road and the freedom to leisurely roam. Hoppy loved nothing more than wandering through the great open spaces of God's country and meeting new people. His great passion was people. From the first time Hoppy met someone, they were a friend and he would give them the shirt off of his back. As a member of the Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle Club, he toured much of the United States and Canada. He traversed many of the national parks with his dog, Chico, in toe. Hoppy's soul was fed by spending priceless moments with his children. They were his most beloved legacy.
Survivors include: daughter, Michelle Hoppman, of Minot, and son, Mikel, and his wife, Kaci Hoppman, of Cabot, Ark.; brother, Warren, and his wife, Liz Hoppman, of Minot; nieces, Aleasha Hoppman, of Washington, D.C., and Lesley and her husband, Jon Walker, of Minot; and great-nieces, Brianna and Callie; and great-nephew, Caleb.
Hoppy was preceded in death by his parents.
Services: Will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct, 19, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minot.
Visitation: Will be today, Oct. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Those wanting to sign the online memorial register or share memories and condolences are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).