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In Memory of . . . Raymond C. Hopkins (1919-2013)

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2013

The Rev. Dr. Raymond Charles Hopkins died on April 21, 2013 at the age of 93.

Rev. Hopkins was born in Danbury, CT on July 29, 1919 to Mary (Halstead) and Clarence Hopkins. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in 1947. In 1949, he also went on to earn a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Tufts University. Finally, in 1964, he received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology from Starr King School for the Ministry.

Rev. Hopkins was ordained at The Universalist Church of America in Brockton, MA in July of 1949. He was first called to serve the Universalist Church of Canton, MA from 1944-1945. He then went on to serve the Universalist Church of Medford, MA from 1945-1946. From 1946-1952, he served the Universalist Church of Brockton, MA. After the consolidation, he continued to serve this church which came to be known as the Universalist Unitarian Church of Brockton, and he remained there until 1961 when he was also named Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Hopkins was actively involved in the effort to unite the Unitarian and Universalist faiths from 1946 until the actual consolidation in 1961, and worked consistently and passionately on many consolidation committees until this dream came to fruition. Later in that same year, he was appointed Executive Vice President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and remained in that position until 1974.

Rev. Hopkins began a new chapter in his life when, in 1974, after leaving his post at the UUA, he took on the role of Executive Director of the Ferry Beach Park Association in Saco, ME. His experiences as both a parish minister and the Executive Vice President of the UUA allowed him to help Ferry Beach grow into a successful organization. Never one to sit on his laurels, Rev. Hopkins also served as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco & Biddeford from 1975-1984. He was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus in 1984, upon his retirement.

Proudly dedicated to the denomination and beyond, Rev. Hopkins served as Co-Chairman of the American Unitarian Association – Universalist Church of America (AUA– UCA) Program Committee from 1956-1957; Administrator of the Council of Liberal Churches from 1958-1959; Member and Secretary of the Joint Merger Commission from 1957-1960; Chairman of the Merger Plebiscite Committee from 1959-1960; Chairman of the Coordinating Committee on Consolidation from 1960-1961; on the Executive Committee of the International Association for Religious Freedom in 1969; and he was a longstanding member of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn, an exclusive Unitarian Universalist study group. He was also heavily engaged in the anti-war, feminism, and civil right movements. Throughout his tenure as the UUA, he had the opportunity to meet a number of his heroes, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

Rev. Hopkins is survived by daughters, Patricia Hopkins, Linda Hopkins, and Janet Clark; as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Hopkins, and eight brothers and sisters.

An official date has not yet been set for a planned memorial service, this summer, at Ferry Beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Ave., Saco, Maine 04072.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Linda Hopkins at 8 Morris Ave., Saco, ME 04072.

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