In Memoriam : Raymond Hopkins

Raymond Hopkins Raymond Charles Hopkins - age: 93
(July 29, 1919 to April 21, 2013 )
Resident of Saco, Maine

Raymond Charles Hopkins, 93, of Morris Avenue, Saco, died in his sleep at home on April 21, 2013.
He was born July 29, 1919, in Danbury, Connecticut, the son of Clarence and Mary Halstead Hopkins. He was educated in the local schools and was active as a teenager in local, state and national Universalist organizations. He entered the Army in 1942 and was medically discharged in 1944, when he entered Tufts University. Still a full time undergraduate, he was called as a part time minister in Brocton, MA in 1946. While a student, he was one of the founding members of the Humiliati, a group of Universalist students at Tufts who espoused what they called impulse theology that has influenced later generations of Universalists. He graduated from the Tufts School of Divinity in 1949, and was awarded a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Starr King School of Divinity in 1964. In Brocton he led the merger of the local Unitarian and Universalist congregations, and the construction of a modern church building. He was appointed as Minister Emeritus of the church when he left in 1961.

Ray was longtime member of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn, an exclusive Unitarian Universalist study group until his resignation in 2007.

Beginning in 1946, Ray became actively involved in the effort to merge the Unitarian and Universalist denominations. He worked tirelessly on every merger committee until the actual merger in 1961 in which he was instrumental.

In 1961, he was appointed as the executive vice president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in Boston, Massachusetts and served in that capacity until 1974. During his years on the UUA staff, which he described as the most exciting of his life, he was deeply involved in the civil rights, black power, feminism, and the anti- war movements, and encouraged the publication of the Pentagon Papers by the UUA publishing arm, the Beacon Press. During those years his work resulted in his meeting a number of his heroes, including President John Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Sir Bertram Russell, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upon leaving the UUA 1974, Ray became the executive director of Ferry Beach Park Association in Saco, Maine, returning to a place where he had spent many summers during his youth. Applying his managerial and fundraising skills, he transformed a failing organization into a successful one. Simultaneously, Ray was appointed as minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco Biddeford when he served until his retirement in 1984 when he was appointed as Minister Emeritus.

Ray is predeceased by his wife, Barbara Hopkins, and eight brothers and sisters.
He is survived by 3 daughters, Patricia Rae Hopkins of Saco, Linda Sue Hopkins of Saco, and Janet Louise (Hopkins) Clark of Haverhill, Massachusetts; 4 granddaughters, Nichole D. Martin, Crista N. Hopkins, Tanisha Hopkins, all of Saco, and Vanessa S. Clark of Haverhill, MA; 4 grandsons, Robert McElhany, Worcester, MA, Wallace Clark and Raymond Clark both of Haverhill, MA, and Jeremy Hopkins of Saco; and 4 great grandchildren.
Dennett, Craig and Pate Funeral Home are in charge of the arrangements.
For those wishing to express condolences please go to

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to his beloved Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Avenue, Saco, Maine 04072.

Ariana Paribello - April 24, 2013Contact this person Contact this person
My thoughts are with everyone whose life "Grandpa Ray" touched. What an amazing human being! Nik-I am sending you extra love.


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