The Loss of Our Friend Buddy!

These are our dear friends the Hopkins!  Buddy was tragically killed last Thursday, June 21st by a hit and run driver who hit him from behind while he was jogging.  We can not even begin to put into words our grief over the loss of this amazing husband, father, son, and friend.

I met Heather in 2008 when she walked into my health office at the elementary school where I worked.  Their family had just moved to our town for Buddy’s job and Heather was struggling.  We talked for quite some time and during that conversation I learned that her son, Garrison had autism.  I told her about Skylar and I could tell that she was instantly relieved to know that she had met someone who was walking a similar path as she was.  As I sat there chatting with her, I was overwhelmed with the need to get up and hug her.  I got up from my desk, told her I needed to hug her, and the rest, as they say “was history!”

We spent countless hours with the Hopkins family.  Buddy kept us laughing with his hilarious comments and that one-of-a-kind smirk.  We were sad to see the family move away from New Mexico but kept in contact all these years.  We enjoyed all of their return visits and I was so blessed to be able to go to Texas and spend time with their family a couple of summers ago. Heather is truly one of my very best friends!

Buddy loved his family more than anything on this earth!  His love for Heather and the kids shined through in his daily life.  He coached his girls’ softball teams and he was constantly taking Garrison camping with the Boy Scouts.  He also had a passion for Special Olympics and was at every event to cheer Garrison on!  Buddy was constantly serving others!  What a legacy he left behind!

Two days before Buddy was killed, Heather and I had spoken and we made plans to meet up in Flagstaff next week as their family would be travelling on vacation.  We were so excited to see each other as quite a bit of time had passed since we had last seen them face-to-face.  Instead, we will now be going to Flagstaff to attend Buddy’s funeral and support Heather and the kids in any way possible!  It is truly unreal!

I can not even begin to imagine the tough days that Heather and the kids have ahead of them.  While I know that they will have a difficult journey emotionally, it is my heart’s desire that they will not have to struggle financially as well. No, money will not take away the pain of this tremendous loss, but I’m hoping that the outpouring of love and support shows Heather and her family how much people care! This is where all of you come into play!

I am asking all of you who are willing and able to donate in one of the following ways to help out Heather and her sweet family!

1)  A fund has been set up at the American Airlines Credit Union in Texas.  You can donate at any one of their branches under “The Buddy Hopkins fund”!

2)  You can also donate via paypal. This is an easy way for all of my international readers to donate!  You can send any donation to: Hdhopkins@hotmail.com

3)  You can mail a check made out to Heather Hopkins to me and I will forward them on to her.  The address to mail them to is:

Julie Coryell

2200 Lone Oak Way

Prescott, AZ 86305

I challenge everyone to donate $20 (or more if you can) to this precious family!  And I am asking that all of you share this post with as many people as you can.  Please help me come alongside this sweet family and help ease the financial burden they face.  Those of us who have children with autism, or any special need for that matter, know the financial difficulties that come with that.

I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!  So many of you have supported our family!  Heather has been one of my biggest supporters since entering the blogging world and I want to do anything I can to help her now!

Make each day count!

JuJu

*Please share this post via Facebook, Twitter, email, or any way you can to help spread the word about how we can help Heather during this difficult time!*

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8 thoughts on “The Loss of Our Friend Buddy!

  1. Buddy was truely an amazing man. We are greatful that we had the pleasure of knowing him. We will also be paying our respects in Flagstaff. What an angel the world lost. My heart aches for Heather and the kids.

  2. Julie, I was a close friend of Heather’s in Albuquerque. My daughter, Chelsea was her babysitter & became very close to the family. I will send a contribution but I was wondering if you would mind giving me Heather’s current address so that I could contact her. My husband & I moved to North Carolina & I lost contact. The last address I had for her was in Rio Rancho, NM.

  3. Julie I want to Thank You for spreading the word about Buddy to all you can – I live a street down from Heather and her family, my wife is Heather’s You here in Haslet, we spend the weekends together supporting our kids at Special Olympics, her girls play with my girls – it was a very tragic thing that happened but the community support that has happen for her and the kids is simply amazing – Heather will be in loving hands when she comes back – My wife will be at Heathers side 24/7 if Heather needs her to be – We also have a special needs child and it was through them my wife and Heather meet – Heather is an Amazing, Loving women – Unfortuanately the life we live we don’t really appreciate the moment that we are living until they are gone – Heather losing Buddy makes you think how short of a time you really have with your loved ones and the people you surround yourself with – last time i saw Buddy was at Heather’s birthday party – she was glowing and having fun and i am so glad she did have that moment of time with him – I am mad at myself for not getting to know Buddy more than i did – He was me in my family – the breadwinner, the leader, the father of girls, the father of a special needs child, I never took the opportunity to learn from him his interactions with Garrison that i could have used with my daughter – I aplogize for rant but this is the first i have spoken openly about this to anyone and first experience of knowing someone who has passed away so quickly and tragically – One thing that should come from this is we need to make that connection with all the people we have in our lives espically the closest to us – everyone has something they can learn from someone don’t let that opportunity slip away thinking you can always comeback too it –

    Tears, Love, Laughter, and Prayers to Heather, Garrison, Rachel, Kimbo & Natalie

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