Thomas H. Hopper, Jr., 97, died Thursday, July 19, 2018 in Painted Post, following a series of recent health issues.
Tom was born in Painted Post to Thomas H. Hopper, Sr. and Jenny B. Campbell and lived in Addison, NY for most of his life. His first wife of 25 years, Wilma Burlingame, died in 1967. From his “first family,” he is survived by his son, David Hopper and his wife, Elizabeth; his daughter, Karen (Hopper) Buckley and her husband, Lewis; grandchildren Debra Tulisano, Christopher Hopper, Nicole (Hopper) Fricke, and William Rose; and six great grandchildren.
His “second family” came about when in 1992 he married Marilyn (Missy) Underwood and immediately gained two more children, Ruth Cannava and her husband Marc, and Becky Van Brunt and her husband Jim; and four more grandchildren, Courtney and Laura Cannava, and Heather and Hailey Van Brunt, all of whom have survived him.
A member of The Greatest Generation, Tom married Wilma in 1942, not long after which he joined the U. S. Army, serving in Europe in World War II. Upon returning home, he returned to work at the Corning Glass Works, where he had worked briefly before the war. He became a pioneer in first generation computer systems, leading the team that installed the first mainframe computer in Corning.
He wrote some of America’s earliest systems, and he spent his career helping to bring Corning’s systems to maturity, retiring in the late 1980’s. After his retirement from Corning, he was elected to the Steuben County Legislature in 1994, where he served for six years, following which he and Missy moved to Painted Post, where he lived the rest of his life.
Like so many in his generation, he believed strongly in service to country, community, and family. Even in his 90’s, he continued to serve his country as he saw it, writing and self-publishing four books on the subject of how government was failing its citizens and what needed to be done to reverse that trend.
But he wasn’t all work, no play—the one deep passion in his recreational life was always golf. A longtime member of the Corning Country Club and the Indian Hills Golf Club, he played golf all his life, giving it up only at age 95. One of his great joys was playing the Old Course at St. Andrews on one of his trips abroad.
A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church, 8 Front St., Addison, NY, where Tom was a longtime member, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:00 am., to be followed by a reception at Indian Hills Golf Club. Carpenter-Flint Funeral Home, 10 Wall St., Addison has been entrusted with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s name may be made to the Painted Post Food Pantry, 201 North Hamilton Street, Painted Post, NY 14870 or to the United Methodist Church of Addison, 8 Front Street, Addison, NY 14801.