Whitewater - Doris Oella Hopkins was born July 2nd, 1920 at home in rural Benton, and went to her heavenly home on November 28th, 2017 at Wheat State Manor, Whitewater, surrounded by her family. Doris was the 2nd daughter of Frank J and Verna (McMaster) Bodecker, and had two sisters, and one brother. She graduated from Whitewater High School, El Dorado Junior College, Bethel College, and received a Master’s Degree in Reading from Emporia University. She also completed 40 graduate hours at Wichita State University. Doris was united in marriage to Vernon E Hopkins on May 10th, 1941 and after their marriage she spent several years as a soldier’s wife during World War II.
After Vernon’s discharge from the service they returned home and began farming northwest of Benton. Her family was raised on the farm where Dean and Mary now live. In 1969 after Vernon retired from farming they moved to Benton, Ks where she lived until joining Vernon at Wheat State. While living on the farm Doris taught school one year at a one room school house, substituted four years while her children were young, and then taught at Benton Elementary for 24 years, retiring in May of 1985 in order to care for her elderly parents, and then again substituting when she had the time. Teaching reading was Doris’ love and many a child of Butler County learned to read because of her. She leaves a wonderful legacy in teaching as many of her former students say to this day that she was their favorite teacher! Doris’s professional memberships include: Butler County Retired Teachers Association, NEA, KNEA, and she was an auxiliary member of the El Dorado Camp of Gideon’s International. She was a lifelong member of Palmyra Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years.
Doris loved being outdoors. She loved helping her dad farm while she was growing up and she was a bit (or a lot) of a Tomboy! She played Basketball in High School and also loved to bowl and play golf. She and Vernon also greatly enjoyed their monthly pitch parties with their friends. Doris took great pride in her yard and flowers, and was in the yard every chance she got, even in later years riding around on her scooter picking up twigs and digging up weeds! Her hands were never idle as she spent many hours on needlepoint, quilting, and SCRAPBOOKING!! Doris will be remembered as a kind, loving, Christian woman, a wonderful mother, grandma, and great grandma, and for never meeting a stranger.
She was preceded in death by Vernon, her husband of almost 76 years, her parents, sister Valla, and brother Blaine. Left to mourn are her sons, Frank (Marty) of Pratt, Kansas, Fred (Shelley) of Benton, Kansas, Dean (Mary) of rural Furley, Kansas , daughter Janet (David) Sager of Moran, Kansas, 9 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, sister Orpha Parrish of Derby, Kansas, sister-in-law Sarajane Bodecker of Newton, Kansas, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be given in her name to Palmyra Baptist Church and/or Circle District Educational Foundation to benefit Benton Elementary.