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Bellville Times

Frankie Ray Hoppe was surrounded by the love of his family and close friends when he departed this life, on Jan. 20, 2009, following a courageous two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Frankie was born in the Bellville Hospital on Nov. 4, 1948, to parents Clifton and Ora Nell (Zander) Hoppe. He was baptized, confirmed and was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church in Bellville. Frankie could be found ushering on any given Sunday, and he always looked forward to cooking with the Men of Mission for various church events.

He graduated from Bellville High School in 1967 and attended Sam Houston State University.

On Sept. 5, 1970, Frankie married Sherrie (Doll) Jackson, also of Bellville. They welcomed a son, Kirk Allen Hoppe, in June of 1976. Frankie had a way with children and had special names of affection for his nieces and nephews and other family members. He acquired his own special name of “Pappy” in November of 2006, with the arrival of Trace Allen Hoppe, son of Kirk and his wife, Angela (Nelson).

Frankie loved being around people. This was evident to his family and friends as well as to what he chose to do in life. Frankie recently retired from working for the City of Bellville after 30 years. His smile, laugh, and optimistic attitude will be missed by many in the community.

Other than his love for being with family and friends, Frankie enjoyed the great outdoors. From the simplicity of riding in his pastures and working cattle with the brothers-in-law, to spending time at the deer lease with friends; it all put a smile on Frankie’s face. Many weekends and summer days were spent fishing in Rockport, and there are even memories of water fun at Schlitterbahn and Lake Somerville. He loved to ride in his convertible with the top down. On a beautiful day you could see Doll and Frankie passing through town on their way to the various festivals happening in the area or just enjoying the day. A more recent love of his was the travel trailer. Frankie could easily be pleased sitting under the awning at some travel park or at the Mueller’s ranch in Harper.

Frankie was a fierce competitor in slow pitch softball, and was instrumental in the resurgence of the game in Bellville in the 1980’s, developing the Hacienda Field complex and serving as commissioner of the Men’s League. Many a batter faced his pitching through a successful career that lasted into his 50’s.

He loved to spend time in his workshop creating and cooking spicy and tempting dishes with a Cajun or Mexican flair. He could do amazing things with seafood or any vegetable. Many people looked forward to his creations during holiday gatherings or other occasions.

Frankie not only had a way with people but also with animals. He enjoyed the company of his faithful companions Doc, Boss, Scooter, and others over the years.

Wherever Frankie was, there was music. Frankie loved a great variety of music including the 50’s, gospel with Elvis, as well as all kinds of country music including polkas and old western swing. He enjoyed dancing as well as singing Christmas carols around the player piano at Nana’s, and being the local DJ at several get-togethers with friends. His robust laugh, comforting hugs and his knack for storytelling will be missed.

Frankie has left many relatives and friends including his beloved wife of 38 years, Doll, and his mother, Ora Nell Hoppe of Bellville. He leaves behind a son, Kirk, his wife, Angela and grandson, Trace, of Cat Spring.  Other surviving family members include mother-in-law and father-in-law, Billy and Jeanette Jackson,  brothers-in law, Stanley Jackson and his wife, Belinda, Steven Jackson and his wife, Lori, sister-in-law, Suzanne Braun and husband, Greg; uncle, Bill Mewis; nephews, Shawn, Brent, and Grant Jackson; nieces, Mallory and Jenna Jackson, Bethany and Sarah Braun; aunts, Neely Fay Grawunder and husband, James, Doris King and husband, Clarence,  uncles, Isador Zander and wife, Ileene, Harry Zander and wife, Lenora, godparents, Charles and Ora Dell Kollman, and numerous cousins. He also leaves Sherry Luhn, his “honorary” sister, as well as many good friends. 

Frankie was preceded in death by his father, Clifton Hoppe and a sister-in-law, Elois Jackson. 

Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m., Jan. 22, 2009, in the Fellowship Hall at St. John Lutheran Church in Bellville.

A Celebration of Life to remember and honor Frankie was held at 11 a.m.., Jan. 23, 2009, with Pastor Jennie Jones and Pastor David Henske officiating.

Serving as honorary pallbearers are good friends, Howard Bryant, Philip Harrison, Calvin Jackson, Joe Ed Lynn, Mike Mueller, Dennis Richter, and Allen Wienecke.

Frankie’s family expresses their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Douglas Evans, Dr. James Abbruzzese, Alicia Ross, PA., Veronica Brady and other staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center and to the loving and caring staff of Hospice Brazos Valley.

At Frankie’s request, friends who wish may make memorial gifts to St. John Lutheran Church, 520 N. Holland, Bellville, Texas 77418, or to Hospice Brazos Valley, 302 E. Blue Bell Road, Brenham, Texas 77833.

A good friend of Frankie said it best… “Don’t Cry because it’s Over, Smile because it Happened.”   Frankie Ray Hoppe gave us a lot to smile about!  

Posted by Joy Neely


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