Robert Montgomery Hopkins PhD

May 25, 1934 to April 27, 2017


Robert “Bob” Montgomery Hopkins, 82, passed away suddenly at St Claire’s Hospital after a brief illness. Bob was born in Bishop Falls Newfoundland, on May 25, 1934, the eldest son of Daisy “Tot” Hopkins (nee Butler) and Thomas Montgomery Hopkins.  He grew up in Grand Falls Newfoundland, was a student at Grand Falls Academy and graduated from Nova Scotia Technical College in 1956 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He missed his iron ring ceremony because he was busy getting married to the love of his life and best friend Barbara Joan (Chepeswick) Hopkins, a relationship that brought joy to them both for over 60 years.

After his engineering degree, he attended the University of Maine at Orono where he completed a MSc. in Pulp and Paper Technology in 1957, and then moved to Grand’Mere, QC, Powell River BC and Delta BC to work in the pulp and paper industry. A life-long student he obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1973. While in graduate school, he took great delight in declaring snow days and taking all four of his kids out of school to go skiing. He joined the Faculty of Engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he was known as a dedicated and gifted teacher until his retirement in 1994.

Bob loved hiking, skiing, sailing, picking berries and telling stories. He could hit a golf ball 250 yards with deadly accuracy and at one time had a three handicap. He made a great loaf of bread. He was a good man to have at a party, and he frequently laughed until he cried. Life’s absurdities were never lost on him. In recent years he discovered a passion for family history and genealogy, which was encouraged by the National Geographic Genome Project, and which he used to drive his kids to distraction over his sleuthing of world wide family connections.

Bob was predeceased by his parents and younger sister Barbara (Peddle) Hopkins and younger brother James (Jim). He is survived by his beloved wife Barbara, four children Dr. Susan R. Hopkins (Craig Clarence) of San Diego, California, Patricia A. Williams (Keith Williams) and Michael T. Hopkins (Colleen Simpson) of St. John’s Newfoundland and Robert M Hopkins Jr. (Joanne Dunn) of Paradise Newfoundland, as well as grandchildren Michael and Kirsten Williams, David, Allison, Rebecca and Joshua Hopkins, and brothers Tom and Tim, Aunt Vicky Cheeseman and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Clovelly Golf and Country Club on Monday May 1, 2017 from 3-6 pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Shelter at



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To Barbara
Just got back home from Florida and was informed that Bob had passed away. He was such a great guy and loved the outdoors especially sailing. We extend our most sincere condolences.

Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
With love,
Steve and Tina Clarence

You are in our thoughts at this difficult time
Niall and Catherine Gogan

Trish, Kathy and I are thinking of you.

Dear Barbara,
Was very sorry to hear yesterday from my brother Jamie of Bob’s passing. I remember his as a great guy….great sense of humour and a good host1
With love and sympathy,

Rob and family,
Heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your Father. Thinking of you all at this sad time.

Trish and family

We are so sorry to hear this sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

To Barbara and family,
Kay and I were very sorry to hear the sad news.
You are in our thoughts.

Barbara and family; Bill and I are very saddened to hear that Bob passed away. Our hearts go out to you and your family. Bob was truly a wonderful man. We enjoyed his stories and feel very honoured to have spent some quality time with him in Florida. Love, Pam and Bill


Thinking of you and your family at this time. Please accept out sincere condolences.

Susan Mosher and Scott Andrews

Dear Barb & Family,
We just heard this afternoon from Mary & Merv about Bob’s passing. We are terribly, terribly sorry.. Bob was a great guy. and he was a great friend. Its not hard to think of the various activities & events in which all of us were involved, both within the University setting and outside that setting. Bob and you and your kids were an integral part of our lives . . . all our lives. Fortunately, we have the memories. God bless you Barb.

Trish, I am so sorry to hear of your families’ loss. We spoke about your dad at our last meeting, he will always be in your heart and part of your spirit.
Thinking of you all!

Dear Barbara,
We are so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. We always enjoyed our discussions with Bob about hiking, boating, history; whatever the topic it was always a memorable one. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Our sincerest condolences on the passing of you dad.
Warmest Regards
Greg and Linda

Dear Barbara, Trish and Family,
So sorry to hear of your Husband/ Dad’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Cherish all your wonderful memories.

Dear Barbara and family,
I was surprised, and so sorry, to hear of Bob’s passing. Just last week I opened the nice card that you and Bob sent to me after Janet’s death. It was a thoughtful personal note. So nice.

During the years that Frank and Louise lived at Brentwood, Bob (and you) were such wonderful friends, giving in so many ways. This was especially so after Frank’s illness. Bob was a really big support to Louise during those years, and a loyal friend to Frank.

We had frequent contact with Bob and you, even in recent years. It was always a pleasure! I am thinking of you, and will be dropping by Clovelly this afternoon.

Rob, Joanne & family,
Sorry to learn of your loss. He was an engineering giant to me and I feel honoured to have been one of his students.

Bill Goulding

Dear Barbara and Family,
Please accept my most sincere condolences at this sad time.

To the extended Hopkins family; we were deeply saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. Many fond memories of the early years of the Engineering faculty and social gatherings. Bob was integral to the development of the engineering program and social fabric of the community. He will be greatly missed by many of us, we are very sorry for your loss.

Barbara kaia and I have such fond memories we are so sorry for your loss Bob was a joy. Fodlly Tom Mates

Dear Sue and family,
We were so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. We did not see him often but when together we really enjoyed being with him.
Love you,
Don and Kaye Clarence

Barbara and family,
So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing.
Bob was an engineer’s engineer – a real expert who was always generous and keen to pass on his knowledge to others. Many good memories of department activities and shared teaching.

Dear Barbara and family,
It is with great sadness that we have just heard of Bob’s passing. As we are in Ontario just now it will not be possible for us to be present at the celebration of his life, but you will be in our thoughts, with many happy memories of time spent with you and Bob and for me many good memories of shared activities at MUN.over many years.

Barbara,Trish, and family.
So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time.

Trish and Family
So sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time.
Anne and Ford

Dear Mike, Colleen and Family,
It was with great sadness that we learnt of Dr. Bob’s passing. We remember him well at visits at your home and he was always sharp-witted and a fine gentleman.
May your memories of him comfort you.
Our sincere sympathy.

Barbara: We were only just getting to know Bob, at the Brentwood. He was always fun to chat with and much a part if the spirit of the place. We would liked to have spent more time with him.
Our sincere sympathy.

Condolences to Barbara and the whole family. I only worked with Bob briefly on a small range of University commitments, but I always appreciated his thoughtful comments and wise counsel. A pleasure to work with.
Richard Neuman, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology (retired)

Barbara and Tricia, Susan, Michael and Robert, we are shocked and very sad to hear of Bob’s passing. He was a good friend of both my mother, and father, for many years. And recently a wonderful neighbour to my mother. We were so pleased to get to know him better, and enjoyed his genealogy revelations and hiking recommendations. He will be missed.

Bob was an excellent squash player. I believe he learned his skills while on a varsity team for a university he attended. I did only one course from Bob. I believe it was engineering design. An entertaining course. Bob found out I played squash. He attempted to teach me his skills but that was a difficult task. Our paths diverged after engineering but the infrequent times we would meet, be it a Canadian Tire at Christmas, he would greet me like a long lost son. A great guy.

Our deepest sympathies to you and your family on the passing of your husband. After 60 years together, we’re confident that there are a lot of good memories to bring you comfort at this time. Take care.
Pat and Laura

I am truly sorry to learn of your father’s passing .
Like so many others I am thinking of you and your family at this very difficult time.

Rob, Joanne and family,
So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. You are in my thoughts.
Michele (Harvey) Renouf

Trish, Sincerest condolences on the loss of your dad.

Barbara and Family

It was great sadness that I learned of Dr. Bob’s passing. I have fond memories of him at the helm of Growler on Conception Bay, the many Engineering department Christmas tree parties where he always managed to ‘stir it up’…and enjoyed the times we played tennis at the old Pleasantville courts where his competitive edge came out. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Dear Barbara,
I was shocked to hear about Bob. He was one of a kind. Carl and I enjoyed our visits with you and Bob on the Sailboat, Exploits and sightseeing. Linda and I want to visit you when you are feeling better to talk about our good old days in Wilmington and Naples. Love Peggy Stoltz

Rob, Joanne and family;

So sorry to hear about the death of your dad. I was fortunate to have enrolled in a couple of his classes and I still have fond memories of him. Please know my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Barbara & Family:
We are shocked and saddened to learn of Bob’s untimely passing and our hearts and prayers go out to you and your loved ones. We still have his voice mail from a few weeks ago, while we were away, when he called to discuss one of his favourite topics, genealogy and the trail of the Hopkins family. He was always coming up with new leads! It was only yesterday that I was reminded I should return his call and now I feel so terrible that we didn’t get a chance to say farewell, not realizing he had recently been ill. Rest in peace, Bob! You are already missed but your “footprint” will live on.

Mike, Colleen and family,
Dave and I are very sorry to hear of Mr. Hopkins passing. Please accept our sincere condolences and know that our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Barbara and family
Please accept our sincere condolences over your loss. Always welcoming and always a pleasure to be around, Bob will be missed. Take care, our thoughts are with you.

Mike, Colleen and family,

So very sorry to hear about the passing of your father and father in law. Myself and Steve offer our sincere condolences.

Please accept my sincerest of condolences to you and your family. Abraham Lincoln once said “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Reading your dad’s obituary, which was beautifully written, it is evident that he made his time on earth count and encouraged others to do the same. Find strength in family and friends who are here to support and help you through this most difficult time.

Bob was one of my favorite people. He had a great sense of humor. I loved listening to his stories & getting his take on events in the world. Wherever he is, I hope they have & that he is meeting some of those ancestors he so loved to research. After my husband Dave died, Bob would end every phone call with he & Barbara with, ” We love you forever, Linda.” That meant so much to me. I will miss him greatly. My heart goes out to Barbara & his family.

My Sincere condolences to you on the loss of your Father. May your cherished memories help you through this difficult time.
God Bless & Take Care

God looked around his garden and found an empty place, He then looked down upon his earth and saw your loving face.

He saw your path was difficult and he closed your weary eyes, He whispered to you “Peace be Thine” and gave you wings to fly.

It broke our hearts to lose you, But you did not go alone, For part of us went with you on the day God called you home.

Rest In Peace Bob

Barbara,sue,mike,trish,rob,spouces and grandchildren words cannot express the sadness and shock with the loss of our special friend. being so far away makes it so difficult. bob was a very special person,very modern in his thinking and in his actions and we cannot imagine going into brentwood and not seeing him. it has been a joy to have him in our lives. goodbye dear friend. we will miss you and love you forever.

Barbara and Family my condolences on your loss.I always thought of you both as seeing you on your daily walk as two Robins inseparable.May he rest in peace

Trish, My deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your dear father

Barbara, and family,
Bob will always be remembered as the outspoken witty man who we enjoyed spending time with at Engineering Christmas tree parties , sailing , New Year’s Day brunches the Hopkins and numerous other family social events . He always had a great story to tell! He Lived life well and his love of family always came first .
He will be sadly missed .
Our thoughts are with you at this time

To Barbara and Family,

So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Our sincere condolences to Barbara and family. We are away and unable to offer our sympathies in person. Please know we are thinking of you as you remember and celebrate the wonderful man Bob was.

To the Hopkins family,

Very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. While attending MUN I was fortunate to be enrolled in several of his classes. I always remember how enthusiastic and dedicated he was to his teaching. His warm personality and engaging teaching approach combined to really help me understand the material and to successfully complete my degree program.

My sincere condolences to you on your loss.

Paul Mackey
MUN Engineering Class of 1975 (Mechanical)

It was with great sadness I learned this news today. My thoughts are with all of you as I remember Uncle Bob fondly.

Dear Barbara,
I am so sorry to hear of your dear husband’s death. The passing of a beloved life partner is surely life’s most difficult challenge. I am sure that you will take comfort in a life well lived and in the support of family and friends who also loved him. Take care.

Barbara and extended family of Bob
Sorry to see that Bob has taken the off ramp on the road of his life .
By any objective standard he had a full -productive and very interesting life wherein he accomplished much and made a difference to many.
We always enjoyed our conversations with him and the research into his ancestry was of great interest.
We extend sincere condolences to all his family and to all others to whom he was endeared.
May his eternal rest be in peace.