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Daniel Wayne Hopkins

01/22/1958
12/09/2020

Daniel Wayne Hopkins, 62, of Grand Rapids, MI passed away on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Laura and their five children Nicholas, Ashleigh Jordan, Jacob, Brittany Gallup (Jeffrey), and Caitlin as well as his grandchildren Paige, Penelope, Maelynn and Marshall. He is preceded in death by his parents, Calvin and Mary Hopkins.

Dan was a Godwin High School graduate, class of ‘76. His work ethic and commitment to provide for his family was second to none, taking all types of jobs, often simultaneously, to ensure that the needs of his family were always met. Among those jobs, Dan worked for twenty years as a journeyman printer. For the past 8 years he owned and operated Carrier on Call, a mortuary transport business which serves the Kent County Medical Examiner as well as many funeral homes in West Michigan. With this business, he had the honor of working alongside many of our community’s first responders, which brought him great joy and pride. Dan made friends out of strangers and family out of friends. Law enforcement officers, doctors, nurses, security guards, waitresses, mechanics, bank tellers, neighbors all have a story to share about Dan. No relationship was insignificant. His favorite phrase, “I love you,” was frequently spoken, even to coworkers. Whether it was a box of donuts, a cup of coffee or a new ink pen, Dan believed in the power of small gestures. He used these “signature” gifts as ice breakers or tokens of gratitude, always finding ways to bring people closer to his open arms. Dan loved quality time with family, hunting with his brother David and close friend Rick, motorcycle rides, playing in pool leagues and going for late night coffee. As a charismatic storyteller, he never felt embarrassed to show the world who he was. He lived to serve others, never keeping score of the thousands of favors he doled out.

Dan proudly claimed that his wife was the prettiest girl in the room, bragging that he “married up” to anyone who would listen. His dedication to his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, direct family and in-laws resulted in a very large, tight-knit family which was his greatest pride and will remain his greatest legacy. In everything he did, Dan embodied the question he so often asked, “Do you know how much I love you?”

To ensure everyone’s safety, funeral services will be held in private. We look forward to scheduling a large Celebration of Life gathering once conditions allow. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Church. Arrangements are being handled by Gerst Funeral Home.

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5 Responses

  1. I am Judy Chamberlains sister Bonnie. I was fortunate to have met Dan through her at coffee one morning in Grand Rapids. He was one of the best! My sincere condolences to you all during this sad time. Love and prayers, Bonnie and Willard Fladager.

  2. He will be incredibly missed. Such a wonderful man. Sending the entire family prayers for comfort.

  3. Laura and family, I’m extremely saddened to hear of Dan’s passing. I got to know Dan after my wife and I moved here from metro Detroit. I had the chance to have a few lunches with Dan and he helped me understand the funeral home dynamics here. I was always impressed with his work ethic and friendliness. He’ll be missed.

  4. We will miss Dan and his humor, his endless kindness, and his welcoming presence. He filled his life to the fullest and raised some of our favorite people on this earth. We are so very sorry for everyones loss.

  5. Dan was a friend and great person. I worked with Dan for years. He always had a great sense of humor and kindness. When he would work he would never ask for help especially early on. I pulled him aside one day and told him his friends in law enforcement and fire department etc. are always willing to help. Two weeks later out came the pens for anyone that helped. Dan will truly be missed by all who knew him. But he has been called home and is at peace.

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