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Denis Hopkins

Denis Hopkins
Captain Denis Hopkins.  1939-2021
On 19th  of April, 2021,  a beautifully sunny spring day, with his beloved wife Sandy lying beside him, Denis Hopkins died peacefully in his sleep, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C.  where he was being treated for a variety of underlying health issues which had surged in the last month of his life.  He is survived by his wife Sandy, his daughter Elizabeth Hopkins, his brother Raymond (Shirley), and his sister Lorraine Kidner.
Denis was born in  Kerrobert, Saskatchewan on the 6th of June, 1939.  As a  young boy he dreamed, as did so many boys and girls, of learning to fly.   He lived his dream, first as a pilot in the RCAF serving in Canada and the Middle East.  During his pilot training he flew the Harvard which led to his oft made comment  ‘I was Harvard-trained’.  After he left the RCAF, Denis flew for the remainder of his aviation career as a First Officer and a Captain with Air Canada flying different aircraft on domestic and overseas routes.
After thousands of flying hours, Denis retired in 1999 at the age of 60.  He and Sandy settled happily in Calgary.  They enjoyed taking frequent trips to Hawaii, and were married in their cherished Maui.  They moved to Victoria in 2013,  where they immensely enjoyed living by the sea.  They travelled frequently to many exotic destinations.   Their obvious love for each other, the intelligent humour, decency,  and kindness, were an inspiration and a comforting example that their admiring friends and neighbours will greatly miss.
Captain Hopkins carried great responsibility in the service of the profession he had dreamed of as a boy and never ceased to love. With gentle self-deprecating  humour he shared his devotion of flying the skies over countless coffees and flight deck yarns with a cherished circle of fellow aviators; however, nothing could rival his great fortune in having shared a golden life with his wife and best friend, Sandy.  Denis will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.
A celebration of life to follow.  Condolences may be offered at: https://www.victoriasimplycremations.com/denis-hopkins/

56 Condolences - Leave a comment
  • Maryvonne and Ali BEKEN -

    We are saddened with the sudden and unexpected passing of our dear friend Denis.

    We are all very blessed by having the opportunity of meeting and knowing Denis in one way or another.
    For us, he was not only a wonderful friend but also a great ‘older’ brother, always very loving and caring. We will miss him immensely and forever.

    We are wishing him a smooth final flight!

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandy and all of Denis’ loved ones.

    Maryvonne et Ali Beken

  • Larry Martin -

    I was sorry to hear about Denis’ death. I lawn bowled with Denis and will miss his kindness and sense of humour. My condolences to Sandy and family. Larry Martin, Victoria

  • Karonne Colvinns -

    My Dearest thoughts and Prayers are with you Sandy, daughter Elizabeth, Raymond and Lorraine. Denis was a very special person he will be deeply missed by his family and all his dear friends.
    God’s Blessings of strength and courage be upon all. RIP Denis. With Love Karonne

  • Michael Lo -

    My deepest condolences to Sandy and family. I have really enjoyed the many conversations and laughter with Denis over the past 15 years. Thank you for the wonderful memories. I will always miss you. Rest in peace my dear friend.

    Michael Lo

  • Lucille Parkinson -

    Sandy, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in the recent loss of Denis. He was a treasure to fly with and loved when. you got me his Captain’s cap so I could get it embroidered in SEL for his retirement flight back to Vancouver. He looked great in it with the words RETIRED CAPTAIN on it. Was an awesome flight. Had many memorable ones not the DC-9 with Denis. Such a gentleman and awesome to fly with. Denis touched many people in the Air Canada family. He has his eternal wings and is flying at the highest altitude as he soars the Heavens. Heaven gained an angel. Hugs Sandy!

  • Trudy Cole -

    Sandy you are in my thoughts at this difficult time. As many before me have said Denis always had a twinkle in his eye and a permanent smile on his face, I can’t help but think you had a great deal to do with that. Denis was a pleasure to fly with, always a sense of humour and certainly entertaining, he will surely be missed by many. RIP Denis

  • Deanna Germain, Vice President Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling & Croquet Club -

    On behalf of all the members at CPLBCC, we send our deepest condolences. I always joked with Denis, hi Denis with one n. He always had a big smile and twinkle in his eyes. Gosh, he was such an excellent bowler. Rest In Peace, dear Denis!

  • Lorne Carnes -

    Very sorry to learn of Denis’s passing. He was a very popular member of the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling & Croquet Club here in Victoria. He always showed up for a draw with a sharp crease in his bright white trousers and a twinkle in his eyes. On behalf of all our members I’d like to pass along our deepest condolences to his family.

    Lorne Carnes
    President CPLBCC

  • Lee Coffin -

    Denis was one of the most gentle souls I have ever met. The ever-present smile and twinkle in his eye said it all. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

  • Peter Tryfos -

    It was very sad and shocking to learn that Denis had passed away. He and Sandy had been so kind to welcome us when we moved to Victoria not long after they did. We are grateful for their help and friendship. Our deepest condolences to the family.

    Peter and Barbara

  • Christine Kokas -

    I flew with Denis many times when he was in Winnipeg, he was a gentle soul with a terrific sense of humour. He will be sadly missed. My sincere condolences to the family.

  • Laure Marich -

    Mike and I (Laure) would like to send our Deepest condolences to you Sandy and your family. Dennis was one of a kind. My husband flew many times with Dennis and I had the pleasure to work with him too. Dennis will always be special and will never be forgotten.
    Sincerely Mike and Laure Marich.

  • Ann Rempel -

    Deepest condolences to Sandy. Really enjoyed his ever-present smile and cheerful demeanor here at Laurel Point.

    Ann and Charles

  • Yvonne Davey -

    May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.

  • Wendy Kraft -

    Sandy I admired the depth of friendship that you and Dennis built through your lives together. Also, Dennis fit so easily into our Thursday night golf group. I think of your individual senses of humour, and your full, adventurous lives. We lift a glass to you both in thought and in the sharing of memories.

  • Elke and Ross Abderhalden -

    Our thoughts are with you Sandy at this difficult time. May you find strength in happy memories.
    In deep sympathy
    Elke and Ross

  • Brad Friedrick -

    Dennis was a warm and caring guy who acted like he’d known me forever as soon as I was introduced to him. He has been an incredible friend to my mother and father who miss him dearly.
    The world needs more people with his humanity.
    Brad Friedrick

  • Lyn Wood -

    My heartfelt sympathy to you Sandy. I hope that your memories of travel and adventure together will help you get through this difficult time.

  • van Zoelen, Jannie -

    My deepest sympathy for your loss, Sandy and family.
    May you always cherish the beautiful memories with Dennis.

  • Donna Dankesreiter -

    My sincere condolence Sandy.
    So glad you snd Dennis shared so many good and happy time together.
    Donna Dankesreiter

  • Jean St Laurent -

    To:Sandy and Family
    Our sympathy
    Denis was a great person.
    Ernie and I will always remember him and his camper.
    You are in our thoughts.
    Jean and Ernie

  • Allan CATTERALL -

    I first had the pleasure of flying with Denis out of Montreal around 1967 when he was just out of the RCAF. On our many layovers in YT we’d usually de-brief at the Crow’s Nest.
    Years after his retirement , he and Sandy paid a visit to St. John’s on a cruise ship and Denis sent me many photographs of the old club and bought me home a cap with the club crest on it.
    Such was the kind thoughtfulness of Denis. He was one of a kind and all those who knew him will wear a smile when they speak of him. Rest in Peace Denis.
    Our deepest sympathy goes to Sandy and the family. Al and Connie Catterall.

  • Larry Forseth -

    Captain Dennis Hopkins was a gentleman Captain who everyone enjoyed to fly with. I spent time on the DC9 in Winnipeg jetting across the skies with coffee in hand and a happy go luck smiling Captain that had only good reflections on life. Life here on earth is short and we all look forward to a big reunion on the other side. I will always remember that signature smile that seemed to be permanently on his face. Safe travels my friend until we all meet again…

  • john nakielny -

    I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Denis Hopkins. A wonderful gentleman who has taken his last flight west. It was a privilege to have shared the flight deck of the DC-9 with him for many memorable trips. Denis, thank you for the memories. Until we meet again.
    Neither death nor time will ever be enough to erase the memories of those happy times we shared here on earth together.
    My heart felt condolences to family and friends.
    John Nakielny

  • Heather Clifford -

    My condolences, Sandy. Denis was a pleasure..always a contagious smile…a big virtual hug to you…it’s not easy to go through this. You have some very good memories to cherish.

  • Clair Maynard -

    Well today is about the saddest I have had in a long time! Hearing of Denis passing brings a surge of emotions but also brings back wonderful memories. I spent a lot of time with Denis flying, boating and a bit of happy hour-ing.
    Save me a seat we will meet again.
    My heartfelt condolences to all who knew Denis and shared his company!

  • Clair Maynard -

    Well today is about the saddest I have had in a long time! Hearing of Denis passing brings a surge of emotions but also brings back wonderful memories. I spent a lot of time with Denis flying, boating and a bit of happy hour-ing.
    Save me a seat we will meet again.
    My heartfelt condolences to all who new Denis and shared his company!

  • Rae & Frida Audette -

    Both Frida and I were very saddened to learn of Denis’s passing. He was a really good friend.

    Both he and Sandy visited us on our boat “Arabelle” in Barcelona, whilst we house-sat their home in Calgary. When aboard he made a few improvements to it, so typical of Denis! For example, on our back deck he replaced the carpeting and fixed a broken panel between the stanchions – such was his thoughtfulness and kindness.

    To our happy surprise they landed (pun intended, as we both flew for a living!) in Victoria where we resumed our friendship. Denis will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to Sandy at this sad time.

    Frida and J. (Rae) Audette

    • Gayle Comer -

      Frida and Rae

      Not sure you will get this msg but I would love to hear from you! It’s been so long .

      Gayle Comer

      Sorry for the miss of your dear friend. I hope you are both doing well. Miss you .

  • rachel redfern -

    Always a smile on his face and a giggle in his eyes…. Dennis was truly a great guy and we will miss him so much . Mary’s blue moon coffee mornings just aren’t the same without him. We willl never forget you friend…. fly high and we will see you on the other side always in our hearts

  • rachel redfern -

    Always a smile on his face and a giggle in his eyes…. Dennis was truly a great guy and we will miss him so much . Mary’s blue moon coffee mornings just aren’t the same without him. We willl never forget you friend…. fly high and we will see you on the other side

  • Darryl A Gunn -

    I was very sad to hear of Denis’s passing! Denis was a lot of fun to fly with, especially for us new “punks” who had just arrived YWG base back in the spring of 79′.

    Denis gave us the warmest welcome and really made it a real joy and pleasure to fly with him! His “easy going” style with always a comical overtone created some fond and happy memories back to those first great years at AC!

    To Denis’s family and many friend’s may I offer my personal and heart felt condolences! God’s speed Sir!

  • David Cotton -

    Sad to hear of this news. Denis was a treat to fly with. Always a true professional, he had an easy going humorous side to him, which I found very refreshing and encouraging. When it comes to flying, its men like him that one learns the most from……

    Rest well Denis

  • Norbert Greczmiel -

    I am saddened to hear of Denis’s passing. It was my great privilege to fly with Denis on the DC-9 and again on the 767.
    Denis led by quiet example and passed on many valuable lessons, both in and out of the airplane.
    His infectious laugh was a treasure he freely shared.
    I cherish the memory of riding through Japan with him on the train, laughing all the way and wandering around Saskatoon trying to find a blues club, on a Sunday.
    My deepest condolences to Sandy and the rest of his family.
    Rest in Peace Hoppy.

  • Rick Maki -

    I could not possibly say enough to convey my heartfelt respect for Dennis the man and Dennis the pilot. He had a calm and gentle way of guiding a young F/O like myself to really learn what it was to be an Air Canada pilot. This was liberally spiced with a sense of humour that brightened the darkest days. I will never forget his stories and his delivery that put him on a par with the likes of Bob Newhart. Godspeed Dennis you are missed by many.

  • Dennis Giguere -

    Denis was a character beyond belief. A great pilot to fly with and a great storyteller to listen too. All the crews loved flying with him. He was one of a kind.
    May there always be wind beneath your wings my friend.

  • Doug Mason . Retired A/C -

    Flying with United Nations, As ‘roomies’ in Egypt, we’ve shared many adventures. His sense of humour and ‘that giggle’ will be with me forever. When really upset, his worst words were’gosh darn shucks!’ We, Cathy & I, will treasure our memories of him. Hugs to. Sandy & Elizabeth.

  • David Zaahrik -

    So long Dennis, thank you for the fabulous memories of flying together. A true professional and a gentleman and I was convinced a lost stand up comedian… I still laugh at some of the stories. My sincere condolences to the family.

  • Bent Pedersen -

    Bent Pedersen
    Remember Denis well from my time in Winnipeg. Well liked and respected by us all. Rest in Peace Denis.
    We shall remember.
    Bent Pedersen
    AC YYZ — Retired

  • Robbie Robinson -

    Goodbye my friend. It was always a treat being with you Denis and your kind and happy outlook on life. May you and Sandy rest in peace !
    Robbie Robinson.

  • Garry and Jeanette Kirk -

    Our condolences, Sandy, on the loss of your wonderful husband. Denis has been an inspiration to many. We will cherish memories of laughs and fun times together, especially in Maui.

  • Grant Foster -

    I was very sad on learning of “Hoppy’s” passing. We flew many months together on the DC9 out of Winnipeg and his self deprecating humour, kindness, and and ability of getting along with everyone was something to behold. My condolences go out to Sandy, Elizabeth and the rest of his family. RIP Denis, you will be greatly missed.

  • Kim Sharpe -

    What a sad day for most of us, who knew Dennis, and had the pleasure of working with him over the years. ” Hoppy”, had the perfect combination of self depreciating humour, along with the ability to be a very good Captain when required. The stories that abound about ” Hoppy “, are probably too numerous to mention, but are joyfully retold, whenever ” Winnipegers”, get together for a suitable debrief. I will miss him, and mourn his passing, but when I think of him, I can’t help but smile.
    My condolences go out to Sandy and all on Denniss’s family.
    Kim Sharpe

  • mark schwartzentruber -

    he was my hero. many fond memories of our flights together. WE HAD FUN.
    Kind thoughts with the family!
    Mark Schwartzentruber.
    New Dundee Ontario.

  • Gary Delf -

    I was so sad when I read the news of Denis passing. Shocked would be a better word. The years we spent in YWG were among the best memories I have. The stories were always accompanied by his unique laugh (more of a machine gun like chuckle, really). He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My condolences to Sandy and his family.
    Gary Delf AC retired

  • Chuc Almasy -

    I would like to express my deepest condolences to Dennis’
    family and friends upon his passing.. Always a gentleman
    and fun to fly with, Dennis will be sadly missed by all who
    knew him.. May he rest in peace..

  • Grant Corriveau -

    re: “With gentle self-deprecating humour he shared his devotion to flying the skies over countless coffees and flight deck yarns…”

    This is exactly how I remember Denis from my days in Winnipeg flying as his FO on the DC9. I enjoyed our flights together as I benefitted from observing a true Captain and fine human being at work. Thanks for teaching me “the ropes” Denis. Much appreciated.

    Grant Corriveau (AC Captain; Retired)

  • Tom Collins -

    Denis was a gentle and kind soul who was always a pleasure to fly with. I never heard an unkind word from him. Condolences to the family.

  • Philip Mew -

    To the Hopkins Family,

    I am very sorry to learn that Denis has died. Please accept my deepest condolences.

    I trained on to the B767 as First Officer at Air Canada in 1996 and flew with Denis many times – it was always a pleasure. I last saw Denis and met his wife Sandy on a London Heathrow to Vancouver International flight just before I retired.

    Rest In Peace Captain Hopkins.

    Philip Mew
    Victoria BC

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