Published On: Fri, Jun 16th, 2023

Obituary: Raymond W. Hopkins

Raymond W. Hopkins of Glen Rock, NJ, Sea Girt, NJ and Highland Beach, FL, passed away on June 13, 2023—his 81 st birthday—surrounded by his adoring family. Ray was born on June 13, 1942, in New York City, to Joseph and Patricia Hopkins, and was the oldest of their nine children. Ray is survived by his one and only love Maureen Hopkins, his wife of 58 years, and children Raymond Michael (Marci) Hopkins of Wyckoff, NJ; Mary Beth (Steve Breckenridge) Hopkins of Wyckoff, NJ; and Kristen (Aldo) DiTrolio of Succasunna, NJ. Ray’s eight grandchildren are Matthew Hopkins, Grace Hopkins, Meghan Cece, Molly Cece, Patrick Cece, Ryan DiTrolio, Mia DiTrolio, and Christopher DiTrolio.

Ray is also survived by all eight of his siblings: Judy Cotter of Highland Beach, FL; Peter (Barbara) Hopkins of Berwyn, PA; Christine (Kenny Powers) Hopkins of San Rafael, CA; Paul Hopkins of Rye, NY; Irene Hopkins of Camden, ME; Dale (Christiaan Wagener) Hopkins of Los Angeles; Joanne Hopkins of Duxbury, MA; and Jim Hopkins of Pompano Beach, FL.

Additionally, Ray is survived by numerous nieces and nephews: John Cotter, Peter Hopkins, Keith Hopkins, Eric Hopkins, Julia Hopkins Becker, Joseph Powers, William Powers, Caroline Healy, Alexandra Winsper, Dale Winsper, Lindsay Charland, Daria Charland, Patrick Charland, Connor Charland, Holland Wagener Peters, and August Wagener.

Ray is the beloved patriarch of a large and close-knit Irish family, consisting of over 60 members. A heartwarming family tradition is that each Thanksgiving for the past 35+ years, the Hopkins Family gathers for a 3-day weekend in Westchester County, NY. This tradition was initiated by Ray’s parents, and he has made it a point to continue it even after their passing. The highlight of this annual weekend event is Thanksgiving Day itself at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, NY. The only thing that exceeds the beer and wine over these three days is the laughs and love that are shared by all.

Ray served from 1983 through 2009 as Executive Vice President of Mechanical Contractors Association of New York, Inc. (MCA), an industry trade group that acts as the voice of the mechanical and sprinkler contracting industry in New York City and Long Island. Ray joined MCA in 1970, working for his father Joe, who was also a leader at MCA for many decades. During his nearly forty years at MCA, Ray represented hundreds of union Mechanical and Fire Sprinkler Contractors and Mechanical Service Contractors in the HVAC, Fire Sprinkler, Welding, and Refrigeration Industries.

Among Ray’s major accomplishments at MCA was his work on behalf of the Enterprise Association of Steamfitters Local Union 638. He handled all the contract negotiations for the Steamfitters union and was instrumental in developing and implementing several major initiatives that improved the lives of union members in terms of their health, finances, and education. At his core, Ray cared about people and in particularly those that were less fortunate. It is therefore why Ray was particularly proud of helping form the Steamfitting Industry Assistance Program; the Steamfitting Industry Scholarship Program; and the Retirement Seminar for Steamfitters and Service Fitters.

Ray, along with Jack Torpey, Local 638 President, and Kevin Driscoll who managed the Steamfitter Funds, created a Charity: 100 Who Care. This charity, which strived to deliver funds to small charities in need, continues to this day with one event, a golf outing. In keeping with Ray’s patience level, the outing was limited to 100 players to speed things up. Ray once had a vanity NJ license plate “HURRYUP.”

Ray had a larger-than-life personality, which served him well in the rough and tumble world of NYC trade union negotiations. He was known to hammer out many a contract at the corner table of the recently closed I Trulli restaurant in Manhattan or over a round of golf at his beloved Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell, NJ. At Hackensack GC, Ray was legendary for emceeing the annual Clambake Dinner for 15 straight years. Ray had the room doubled over in laughter with his colorful jokes. Many of the member’s guests thought the club hired an outside comedian. The event became so popular that the club extended the Clambake to two consecutive evenings, with the highlight being Ray’s stand-up act each evening.

Ray Hopkins – a loyal husband, wonderful father, grandfather, brother, uncle and a friend to many will be greatly missed. Truly, a one-of-a-kind type of guy.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to New York-Presbyterian Development, 850 Third Avenue, 12 th Floor, New York, NY 10022 or via online at nyp.org/giving in honor/memory of Raymond Hopkins. Any questions or assistance, please contact [email protected]

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 20th from 4:00-8:00PM at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave, Wyckoff, NJ (www.vpfh.com). Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:00AM at St. Catharine Church, 905 South Maple Ave, Glen Rock, NJ.

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