WHITEFISH - William F. Hoppe, 86, of Whitefish died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005, of congestive heart failure at Kalispell Regional Medical Center in Kalispell.
A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Columbia Falls with the Rev. Terry Forke officiating.
Bill was born in Havre on Feb. 6, 1919, to Carl and Elizabeth Hoppe. He attended schools in Havre and worked in his father's coal mine and on construction, until he was inducted into the Army.
Bill married his wife, Erma, on March 4, 1942. Two weeks after their wedding, Bill entered the Army and was sent to Camp Cooke, Calif. He served in the Fifth Armored Division, driving a half-track. From Camp Cooke, he was sent on maneuvers in Tennessee. He was then transferred to Pine Camp, N.Y., and embarked for Europe from Indian Town Gap, Pa., in February of 1943. He took part in the invasion of Germany and received an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant in 1945. He joined his family and they lived in Havre until they moved to Martin City in July of 1946. They lived there while Bill worked at the local lumber mills. In October of 1974, Bill and Erma moved to Whitefish.
Bill was an avid hunter and fisherman and was well known for his success in both. He loved nature and wildlife and got great joy out of feeding the ducks and geese in front of his home on the Whitefish River. Bill was an active member of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod and had been a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church for 48 years. his Christian faith was a great comfort to him. Bill worked at Superior Lumber Company from 1960-84 as the set-up man. Following his retirement, he derived pleasure from delivering meals on wheels from 1984-98.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Marcia Longacre; granddaughter, Marie; and brothers, Robert and Carl.
Survivors include his wife, Erma; daughter, Janet (Jim) Cash of Missoula; son, Bill (Peggy) Hoppe of Columbia Falls; son-in-law, Darol Longacre of Frenchtown; two grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers, Frank Hoppe of Havre and Walter Hoppe of Spokane, Wash.; sister, Helen Murphy of Centerpoint, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.