Nettie R. Hopkins, 91Nettie Rosemary Hopkins died Jan. 20, 2011, at Christian Community Center in Hudson, Wis., in her 91st year.
Nettie Rosemary Hopkins died Jan. 20, 2011, at Christian Community Center in Hudson, Wis., in her 91st year.
Nettie Rosemary Fortier was born Dec. 15, 1919, in Traverse Township out of St Peter, Minn., daughter of William Paul Fortier and Gladys Orthmeyer. The Fortier family moved one month later to a Grantsburg, Wis., dairy farm.
French Canadian by descent (10 generations earlier, Antoine Fortier moved from France to Quebec City in 1670), by 1930 the family had moved to Alberta, Canada, near the town of Brook, on homestead land.
After 1930 they would move back to northwest Minnesota, the town of Borup, where they farmed. By 1935 they were back in Traverse Township, outside of St. Peter, in Nicollet County, Minn. Here they farmed and Nettie Rosemary Fortier graduated from St. Peter High School in 1937.
Nettie recalled in a 2006 letter:
"I was working in Dr. Strathern's home, in St. Peter (MN), for the summer, and they wanted me to go to Cumberland for a 2 week vacation, to take care of their 2 little girls, and they let me have some free time...and I met Dad (George J. Hopkins)....he was a life guard on the beach. He asked me to go to the movie that night. That was 1937.”
“We kept in contact and in 1940 Dad got a job in Washington D.C. at the Census Bureau. I then went out there (D.C.) and got a job (bakery), and Dad got a job in the FBI. We got married in 1941, and I got a job in the FBI right after we were married. And Dad went to med school, George Washington Med School in D.C., graduated in 1946, and we moved to St. Paul."
By that time, Nettie had given birth to George Jerome Hopkins Jr., followed by John Michael in 1947, after which Dr. George, now a captain in the U.S. Army, went with Nettie and the two boys to Italy, where Captain George did discharge physicals for the returning troops. Nettie learned how to bake authentic Italian pizza with fresh tomatoes, a skill that stayed with her for over 60 years, and they learned how to ski in the Italian Alps north of Venice, which continued stateside for 30-some years.
Nettie and the boys moved with Dr. George to complete his Army time at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he delivered thousands of baby boomers. Then it was back to St Paul to finish obstetrics and gynecology training. Nettie had another boy, William Paul, born in 1950.
They then moved to Hudson, where Thomas Peter and Joseph David Hopkins completed the family. From their house on 1st Street, Nettie and Dr. George and the boys moved to the big house on the hill, 1108 Vine St., which remained home for nearly 40 years. Nettie kept a huge garden with fruit trees, grape vines, and flower beds galore. She raised chickens, picked wild asparagus and raspberries on their twenty acres, and taught her five boys how to cook.
She was an avid golfer at Hudson Country Club for years. She loved swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter. She cooked fish, fowl, and venison her men brought home, and also fished and hunted herself, quite admirably, until a 12-pointer gave her a bad case of "buck fever."
Dr George died in 1986, and by the 1990s Nettie had sold the big house and moved to a condominium in Hudson. She also purchased a duplex in Ocala, Fla., and moved there full-time, coming home to Hudson in the summers. She golfed into her 80s. Her son
Joseph David lived with her until his death in 2006.
In her later years she was sustained by her religion. She moved back to Hudson just a few months ago, in failing health. She lived at Red Cedar Canyon Assisted Living. Her final ten days were spent in loving care at Hudson Hospital and Christian Community Care Center.
Nettie was preceded in death by her husband, George Jerome; sons George Jerome Jr. and Joseph David Hopkins; and granddaughter Kate Hopkins, child of Thomas Peter Hopkins and Teri Potratz.
Nettie Rosemary is survived by all her Fortier siblings; older sister Mabel, older brother William Xavier, and younger sister Delia, with numerous nephews and nieces.
She is survived by sons John Michael Hopkins of Hudson, William Paul Hopkins of Cadott, Wis., and Thomas Peter Hopkins of Sachse, Texas.
She is survived by 12 grandchildren: Eric and Patrick Hopkins of San Diego, Calif., and Marcus Hopkins of Albuquerque, N.M., all sons of George Jerome Jr. (dec.) and Mary Beth (Holton) Hopkins of Albuquerque; Aaron Hopkins (wife Kelly Bakken) of Frederic, Wis., son of John Michael Hopkins and Shari Erickson; Amy, Debbie, Phillip, and Jacob Hopkins of Baldwin, Wis., children of John Michael and Cathy (Terwilliger) Hopkins; William Bixby (wife Anne Baierl) Hopkins of Minneapolis, and Lucas James (wife Heidi Rasmussen) Hopkins of Eau Claire, Wis., sons of Dr. William Paul Hopkins and Mary Ann Brunner of Cadott; and Anne Hopkins Lafferty (husband James Lafferty) of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Benjamin Hopkins (wife Jascyntha Rae Wilkinson) of Redding, Calif., children of Thomas Peter Hopkins and Teri Potratz.
She is survived by nine great-grandchildren: Caitlyn Paige Hopkins of San Diego, daughter of Patrick Hopkins and Susan Ayala; Logan Micahel Hopkins and Lane Manning Hopkins of Frederic, sons of Aaron Hopkins and wife Kelly Bakken; Brenden Thomas Mosing of Baldwin, son of Amy Hopkins and Nicholas Mosing; Madeline Marie Hopkins and Thomas George Hopkins of Minneapolis, children of William Bixby Hopkins and wife Anne Baierl; Ana Elizabeth Williams and Jacob Scott Williams of Santa Cruz, children of Anne Hopkins Lafferty and Jason Scott Williams; and, finally, Brandon Matthew Hopkins of Santa Cruz, son of Anne Hopkins Lafferty and Colin Rognlie.
A funeral service will be held for Nettie at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson. There will be a visitation 1 hour prior, and interment will follow in St. Patrick's Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to share food and fellowship after the interment.