Aviation enthusiast and community volunteer William Floyd Hopman passed from this life unexpectedly Tuesday morning, Jan. 11, 2011, at his residence in Quincy. He had just returned from performing his duties as a captain with the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department on a local structure fire.
Born Aug. 1, 1957, to the late Ray and Frances (Deal) Hopman in Santa Barbara, Bill was raised and attended school in Solvang, where his family operated a plumbing business. He is a 1975 graduate of Santa Ynez Valley High School. He went on to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He began his passion in life outside of his family at age 17 when he received his private pilot’s license. He went on to haul freight for Union Flights from 1984-2000 before becoming the chief pilot for Foxen Canyon Motorsports and Alan Johnson Performance Engines, a position he held for the past 12 years.
He resided in Quincy first from 1989-1991 and then from 2000 to the present, moving here from Solvang.
While helping out in the family plumbing business on a service call, Bill met a pretty young lady, Lisa Wintersteen, with whom he later commuted to junior college. Their love for one another grew, and the couple was married in the backyard at Bill’s parents’ ranch July 14, 1984. The couple was blessed with one precious son.
When not helping out with the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department and as an assistant leader with Troop 151 of the Boy Scouts of America, Bill could be found at his second home, his hangar at the Quincy Gansner Airport. Whether working on his Cessna 210, Piper Pacer or North American AT6; sharing his expertise with other aircraft owners on the field; or working on his classic Ford Mustang and other automobiles, Bill was doing what he loved.
A drag racing enthusiast, Bill enjoyed helping out on Alan Johnson’s Funny and Top Fuel Cars, having started out with Alan as youngsters together. One thing for sure, Bill was always there to lend a hand to those in need. Bill found great pleasure in both helping out with the Johnsville Junior Ski Team and co-coaching his son in the sport. Two days prior to his death, Bill had also just given his son his first flying lesson.
In passing, Bill leaves his loving wife of 26 years, Lisa; the pride of his life, his son Robert Henry Hopman, both of Quincy; along with brothers-in-law John and Bill Wintersteen and mother-in-law Nancy Wintersteen.
A celebration of Bill’s life is planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at his hangar at the Quincy Gansner Airport. Interment of his cremains will take place with his parents in the Oak Hill Cemetery District and in the Meadow Valley District Cemetery. An opportunity to express your condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com.
The family suggests any remembrances in Bill’s memory be made to either the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department or the Plumas Christian School Scholarship Fund, c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory, P.O. Box 53, Quincy, CA 95971.