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Condolence From: Doug and Norma Hargreaves
Condolence: We spent many memorable hours with Bob on the ski trails in Quebec and BC. His skill level was well beyond ours, thanks to the time he had spent in places like Colorado, and his natural athletic ability. Despite the differences, he always found time to make some runs with us, and to help improve our techniques. He made at least three trips to BC, and stayed with us each time. He was a knowledgeable football fan of the Gaels, and had an enthusiasm and understanding for the finer points of basketball. It was a joy to sit with him at the games in the Queen's gym. His sense of humour was always present, providing all of us with many moments of laughter. In addition, he was extremely knowledgeable about world affairs, providing insights to we uninitiated which otherwise would have been missing. It was a treat to listen to his opinions on a wide range of topics. His love of history was obviously a factor in this ability. He was also a great listener and a man who loved his family, of which he frequently spoke proudly. We lost a good friend. Doug and Norma
Wednesday November 30, -0001
Condolence From: beth staples
Condolence: Dear Jolene: Just a note to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. May we walk again together some time for Queen's. With sincere sympathy, Beth Staples
Wednesday November 30, -0001
Condolence From: geoff smith and roberta hamilton
Condolence: Well, it is time to say farewell to one of the greatest noontime basketball players in the history of Queen's University's Bartlett, Bews, and Ross Gymnasiums. Bob played in them all, and he played hard and well, being one of the few Stanford grads in Canada ever to show the ability to shoot from both the right and left sides of the basket. And could he put in the hook shot! No one has seen that shot now for at least thirty years but in his heyday Bob could sink the shot at will. We shall miss his athletic competitiveness, combined with his sweet nature, which propelled him to become a star third-basemen for Queen's exceptional summer baseball teams during the 1970s. He and colleague George Rawlyk were known for their unbelievable power hitting -- Hopwood once hit three home runs in one game on the west campus diamond, each time the left fielder backing up on him, each time the ball sailing well over the left fielder's head. "You should hit to right," Rawlyk said with a straight face after the last homer. Hopwood, known affectionately as "Hoppy" to his close associates, also played a mean third base for Sweet's Corners, up around Seeley's Bay, into the early 1980s--he was by far, despite Rawlyk's continuous demurrers, the top athletic specimen in a department known for its physical flab (one of our colleagues, not one of Bob's favourites, lived across the street from the parking lot north of Watson Hall, and, yes, he drove his car to work, to Bob's utter mystication and delight). Bob had pecs and what kids today call a "six-pack," long before the term became pop culture and beer-ad parlance. Bob also anchored the intellectual fulcrum on the second floor, west end, of Watson Hall. When I arrived way back inb 1969, he already had been present, teaching German history, for some time. He, and Rawlyk, were early mentors, and Bob never tired of talking about the importance of popular culture in understanding the emergence of Hitler and the Nazis--he knew a great deal about Weimar, about the transition that lead ultimately to WWII, and about German science, medicine, and technology. There was a time, indeed, that several of us expected to see a Graf Zeppelin anchored on the roof of Watson Hall. His students loved his ability to recreate the crash of the Hindenberg during lecture. Bob Hopwood had a playful side as well. He was a straight-faced practical joker, who on occasion bamboozled everyone. While grad chair in the late 1970s, I received across my desk an application for admittance to the Queen's PhD program of one Alexander "Red" Mihailovich, a mature student, with an academic background in the Soviet Union and several satellite states. Inasmuch as I was attempting at the time to rebuild the Queen's basketball team, the fact that Mihailovich had eleigibility and was as well 6-10 and 275 lbs. made my eyes brighten immediately. In the end, there was no Mihailovich. Hopwood had compiled the entrance dossier, together with three glowing letters of recommendation himself. I sent the dossier back to him, because Mihailovich had noted that he wanted German and Russian history, as well as Irish and Canadian colonial. Two other colleagues got the file--George Rawlyk, the chair, and Don Akenson, our Irish specialist. Rawlyk sniffed out the ruse immediately and laughed for days. Akenson took the file seriously, and wrote, "watch out for this one, dangerous." So the non-existent Red Mihailovich ended up not getting into Queen's, despite the fact that Hopwood tried to convince Akenson that he a student as well as a baskethall player. We'll remember Bob for his friendliness, his ability to laugh at himself as well as others, his commitment to Jolly and Tobin (and his several dogs), and the joy he carried with him when returning from the New Jersey shore and a session of body surfing. A final note--while serving in the U.S. military in the late 1940s, he was the front part of an hnour-guard, carrying a rifle with bayonet, that was ordered to advance just as President Harry S Truman was moving backward toward the unit. Bob's bayonet stayed poised, as President Truman backed into it. At ease, Bob.
Wednesday November 30, -0001
Condolence From: Lillian and John Garieri
Condolence: So sorry to hear about the passing of Robert. Heartfelt condolences from both of us Lillian and John
Wednesday November 30, -0001