Edward Ernest Hopwood (1904 - 1994)
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Edward Ernest Hopwood was born on December 10, 1904 at Surrey England and is the fourth child of Thomas Henry Hopwood and Jesse Elizabeth Traish. His siblings in order of birth were Thomas John (Jack) 1896, Dorothy (Dolly) 1900, Laura (1903) and Joseph Clifton (1907). He was raised in Staines, Middlesex until 1913 when his family moved to Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, to join their father who had left England in 1908 and eventually established a butcher business in that town.
Ernie, as he was called, was blest with a warm, cheerful and engaging personality. He attended Central Elementary School in Nelson until about the age of 11 when he left to work and assist his father in the business in Nelson and later in Silverton B.C. a mining town on the shore of the Slocan Lake. His father Tom was very hard working and industrious. Ernie told fascinating tales of living with his father and their shop at Silverton’s Hart Hotel. In fact Ernie accidentally set fire to the Hotel one winter when he attempted to thaw out some frozen water pipes during severe cold weather. At a young age he learned to look after horses and to log and collect wood as fuel and acquire many manly skills which normally would be assigned to older boys. It was during these years that he learned to love the outdoors and the wilderness where he enjoyed fishing and hunting for the remainder of his life. His skills were evident in driving a team of horses with the fire-wagon for the City of Nelson. He joined Shell Oil in Trial B.C., and later became their local agent at Nelson. His warm personality, his experience and skills favored him for the rest of his working years.
Ernie married Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Turner on February 26, 1927 in Nelson B.C. Ernie and Beth were blessed with three children --- John Stephen (November 9, 1928), Josephine Ann (“Jo Ann” – April 14, 1932) and Shelagh Mary (October 6, 1933). Theirs was a family of great love and happiness. Ernie took part in many community organizations including the Gyro club and for a time was a member of the local School Board. Ernie loved music and with his strong bass voice sang with local church and community choirs. Beth enjoyed community work principally for the Anglican Church and later at Fairview United church. During WW II she was a member of a group called “The Spitfires”, knitting various woolen garments for the troops. Beth also loved gardening and spent many happy hours nurturing both flowers and vegetables for the family’s enjoyment.
Ernie and Beth were very proud of their wonderful children who attended both Hume Elementary and the Nelson High Schools. Son John remained in Nelson over the years and was employed by the telephone company as was his wife Caroline. Jo Ann also lived in Nelson and, along with her husband Jim Todd, enjoyed a career as a successful school teacher. Shelagh left Nelson and for the adventure of being the wife of RCMP officer Herb Single, who was frequently moved to various cities around British Columbia. Of course, both Ernie and Beth enjoyed the blessings of many grand and great-grand children.
Ernie enjoyed community work and over the years as a member of the Gyro Club he contributed much to the people of Nelson. Among them, he and Beth enjoyed many life long friends and neighbors. They both were active members of the Anglican Church and later of the United Church in Nelson district of Fairview. Beth contributed to the Ladies Auxiliary and Ernie loved to sing and spent many happy years in the church choirs.
Ernie, along with his son John, spent many happy hunting trips during this season each fall. He was a part owner of a wilderness cabin in the East Kootenay region of southeaster British Columbia where the game was plentiful and the lure of the great outdoors was always an engaging and joyful adventure.