Obituary: Samuel Edward Hopp, 82

by | May 31, 2024

A remarkable 40 years at Texas Instruments Inc. and service on the EG School Committee

From the Hill Funeral Home website

Samuel Edward Hopp, aged 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday May 28, at Brentwood Nursing Home in Warwick, after an extended illness.

Sam was born in Providence on October 15, 1941, to Edward H. Hopp and Helen L. (Ogley) Hopp. Sam was predeceased by his brother, David H. Hopp, of Texas. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Leona J. “Jan” (Smith) Hopp, daughter Heather L. Hopp Tibbitts (husband, Timothy) of East Greenwich and Brett E. Hopp (wife Noriko Oikawa Hopp) of Astoria, N.Y., as well as granddaughter Vivian C. Tibbitts and grandson Matthew I. Tibbitts both of East Greenwich. Sam is also survived by his brother Philip J. Hopp of Warwick.

Sam met (or rather, annoyed) Jan at Lockwood Junior High School only later to start dating her in 10th grade at Warwick Vets High School. Sam earned his Eagle Scout badge in high school with encouragement from Jan. While attending the University of Rhode Island, majoring in Chemistry, Sam was an outstanding Social Coordinator of φΣΚ (Phi Sigma Kappa) Fraternity. He and two fraternity brothers formed a singing group, the “φΣΚ Trio,” performing at many campus parties sounding like the Kingston Trio. Sam and Jan married on September 1, 1962, at the start of Sam’s senior year. With Jan’s loving support, bringing snacks and coffee to the chemistry lab during late night studying and experiments, Sam earned his best grades and graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Sam attended graduate school at the University of Maryland (Chemistry) and Bryant University (Business) and began his career as a supervisor at Corning Glass Works in R.I. Shortly thereafter, Sam was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Not one to be deterred by this sidequest, Sam met this challenge as a Distinguished Graduate from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He was a Contracting Officer for the U.S. Army Electronics Command, criss-crossing the United States in constant travel, negotiating contracts and inspecting suppliers. This led to a change from chemistry to sales and marketing, where Sam excelled and spent the rest of his career. Sam was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for services rendered and was honorably discharged in 1968 as a First Lieutenant.

Sam’s professional accomplishments span a remarkable 40 years in sales and marketing in the electronics field starting in 1969 at Texas Instruments Inc., Attleboro, Mass., as a Senior Market Specialist and culminating in 2008 as V.P Sales and Marketing & Chief Operating Officer at SPM Corp., Woburn, Mass. While Sam’s workplaces were close to home in New England, his travels encompassed the world from the Far East (Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Japan) and across Europe (Spain, France, Portugal, Austria, England, Germany, and Switzerland). As a result of his extensive traveling, Sam was able to pass on his love of travel to his children. As frequent flier points accumulated, Sam would treat the family with trips around the U.S. and to England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, and Japan. Sam also found time to give back to the communities where he lived, serving on the Planning Board in Litchfield, N.H., and on the School Committee in East Greenwich.

Lest we think Sam was all business and no play, he did have a number of varied hobbies and interests. These included Lionel O-gauge model trains, which he collected beginning junior high and continued to build sets into adulthood. When his children were in 4th and 8th grade, he made a generous sacrifice and sold his train collection to purchase the family’s first home computer, an Apple 2e. In high school Sam played the trumpet which led to a life-long love of classical and jazz music, especially music to dance to. Sam and Jan were regulars on the dance floor, swinging away or jitterbugging in dance competitions at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.  Sam and Jan won so often, they were given passes to simply enjoy themselves so others could win. Growing up in Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay, it is no surprise Sam’s interest in boating stretched all the way to their home on Paugus Bay, N.H., and adventures in a 24-foot SeaRay on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H. Later, after retiring, Sam and Jan spent many a sunny day down at the docks in East Greenwich and Wickford to watch the boats and enjoy their picnic lunches. But by far, his favorite hobby was doting on his grandchildren. Sam and Jan were overjoyed to become Grandpa and Grandma and became “grandparent groupies.” There was not a concert or art exhibition missed, as he was very much a part of his grandchildrens’ lives, supporting and cheering them on.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life Service Saturday, June 1, at 2pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 99 Peirce St., East Greenwich, RI 02818. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Beacon Hospice or Parkinson’s Research.

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