Riemann Funeral Home
First Baptist Church, 12190 Highway 605, Gulfport, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, from 2:30pm until the funeral service 4:30 pm. and 9-10 am on Friday, February 17, 2023, at Harmony Baptist Church, 28950 Hwy 15 N, Walnut, MS
10:00 am on Friday, February 17, 2023, at Harmony Baptist Church, 28950 Hwy 15 N, Walnut, MS
Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard. “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”
In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.
Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on February 12, 2023, and has moved on to his heavenly home. MG(Ret) Alben (Al) N. Hopkins, Sr., age 81, retired member of the MS Army National Guard, who had served in the 31st RTOC and HQ STARC as Assistant Adjutant General has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.
It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country. A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.
Rest in Peace Soldier. We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.
You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.
Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”
Obituary, visitation, and service details:
Alben Norris Hopkins, Sr., age 81, passed away on Sunday, February 12, 2023, with his loving family at his side.
He was born in Ripley, MS on February 14, 1941, and lived out his childhood in his favorite place, Walnut, MS. He was a standout basketball player for Walnut Central High School being a four-year letterman in basketball and baseball. He spent much of his time working on the family farm that has been in continuous operation since 1836.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lloyd Carter Hopkins; his mother, Reba Norris Hopkins; his brother, Lloyd Gerald Hopkins; and his daughter, Ashley Anne Hopkins.
Alben is survived by his grade school sweetheart, his wife of 59 years, Johna Ruth Hopkins; his son, Norris Hopkins (Jodie); his grandson, Carter Houston Hopkins; his sister, Lana Moss (Harvey) of Corinth, MS; his nieces and nephews; and his loyal four-legged companion, Clarence.
He attended Delta State University on a basketball scholarship where he was a student leader and also played on the baseball team under Bo Ferris, whom he always admired. Alben was a member of the “M” club among numerous other organizations which included the debate team, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Gamma Nu, Pi Kappa Delta Honor Societies, and the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity. He was chosen as Mr. Delta State and later Alumnus of the year. He served as President of the Delta State Alumni Association and Board of Directors and as President of Delta State University Foundation. Alben established a scholarship at Delta State University for qualifying high school students from Walnut, MS, and Tippah County to allow them an opportunity to get a higher education.
Alben earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1965 and an Honorary Master of Laws Degree from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2010. While at the University of Mississippi School of Law, he served as Chairman of the Law School Honor Council and the President of his graduating class among other distinctions. He began his law practice in Jackson, MS with the law firm of Daniel, Coker and Horton in 1965. He moved with his law firm to an office in Gulfport, MS in 1970, later opening his own firm known today as Hopkins, Barvie’ & Hopkins, PLLC.
Being sure his children were able to get the best education he could provide was always a priority to him. He was always proud of Ashley receiving her law degree from the University of Mississippi and Norris receiving his from Mississippi College School of Law. He has been described by many as a lawyer’s lawyer. His clients knew that they had a fierce advocate on their side when he stepped into the courtroom. He left an honorable legacy of fine lawyers that he trained and others that were his law partners over his 57 years of practicing law. He did what he always said he would do and that was practice law until his last days. When asked not long ago why don’t you retire and go enjoy yourself, his remark was “I am enjoying myself and mind your own business”. He very much enjoyed the last 20 years of his law practice being partners with his son and Mariano Barvie’, his “other son”.
Alben retired as a Major General from the Mississippi National Guard. He entered military service in 1965 as an enlisted man in the 31st Infantry Division. He later graduated from the Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He served over 22 years as a Staff Judge Advocate for the Mississippi Army National Guard. General Hopkins served his last four years of his service as the Assistant Adjutant General of the State of Mississippi.
He received his Master of Theological Studies from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2018. Alben traveled to the Holy Lands many times and was an expert in his own right of this region of the world. He enjoyed giving his presentation on the Holy Lands to any audience that was interested. He was a faithful Sunday school teacher for his class better known as the “Scrap Iron” class at the First Baptist Church of Gulfport.
He received numerous honors, appointments, and recognition over his lifetime, too many to list. Some of those that meant the most to him include the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Chairman, 32nd Degree Mason and member of the York Rite and Shrine, Gulf Coast Symphony Association, Board of Directors, Gulf Coast Carnival Association, King D’Iberville, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Foundation Board and Life Member, Armed Forces Museum Foundation, Board of Directors, Harrison County Tourism Commission, President, Mississippi National Guard Foundation Life Member, Gulf Pines Girl Scout Council, Board of Directors, Inductee to The Irwin Province Court of Honor of Kappa Alpha Order, Harrison County Republican Club, Charter Member, and National Rifle Association Lifetime Member.
We know you have already taken your spot as the President of some Board, Commission or Foundation in Heaven making sure things get done to your liking. With a little luck you’ll find your way to the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission up there. See if you can negotiate sending a big one our way next season. Carter and I will be waiting on him. Your seat at the campfire will always be there when the hunt is over. The rest of us are comforted knowing Ashley was the first person in line to greet you upon your arrival. Your long wait to see her again is now over. Give her a hug for us and let her know we sure do miss her. You too will be dearly missed. Always know we will never forget where we came from, and we’ll be grateful to those that help us along our way, just as you said.
The family would like to thank Shane, Tracy, and Ashleigh with Kare in Home Hospice for their special care along with Dr. Olivia Hightower, Dr. Matt Hann, Dr. Derek Ware, Dr. Abha Mishra, Dr. David Larosa, Dr. George Loukatos and Medi-Lift of MS.
A visitation for family and friends will be held at First Baptist Church, 12190 Highway 605, Gulfport, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, from 2:30pm until the funeral service 4:30 pm. Military honors will follow the ceremonies in Gulfport at the foot of the Cross on the western lawn of the church.
A funeral service will also be held at 10:00 am on Friday, February 17, 2023, at Harmony Baptist Church, 28950 Hwy 15 N, Walnut, MS with a visitation for family and friends starting at 9:00 am until the service. Burial will follow at Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery, Walnut, MS with Masonic Honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to the “Ashley Hopkins Memorial Scholarship Fund” to provide camperships for girls who otherwise would be financially unable to attend this summer camp. Tax deductible gifts may be sent to Gulf Coast Community Foundation designated for “Ashley Hopkins Memorial Scholarship Fund / Camp Desoto for Girls” and mailed to 11975 Seaway Road, Suite B-150, Gulfport, MS 39503.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, Gulfport, is serving the family. Online obituary may be viewed and memories shared at www.riemannfamily.com