Ted was born in Hartford, Connecticut, to William Warner Hoppin, Jr. and Edith Jaffray Hoppin, and grew up in nearby Farmington. He graduated from Groton School in 1954 and from Yale University in 1958.
After college, Ted was a lieutenant in the Navy as an air intelligence officer and navigator. He was stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station where he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Ted was drawn to saltwater and sailing in Puget Sound. While still in the Navy, he commissioned a 26’ sloop he named “Nonki,” a Japanese word he translated as meaning “happy-go-lucky.” He was also fond of motor vehicles and drove his Triumph TR3 convertible cross country several times. For 40 years, Ted drove a red, 1949 Dodge truck, named Theodore and Co. by a former owner. Ted and his truck brought joy to many and were seen in several Bainbridge 4th of July parades.
Ted found his professional stride in the ‘70s and ‘80s as an entrepreneur/real estate developer. With several partners, he renovated older properties in the historic Pioneer Square district into housing, retail, and/or offices. He served a term as President of the Pioneer Square Property Owners Association. Later, he was Vice President of the Northwest Community Housing Foundation, developing affordable housing for seniors and co-housing projects.
In the early ‘70s, Ted moved to Bainbridge Island. The island reminded him of North Haven, Maine, where he spent childhood summers with his family. While living on West Port Madison, Ted enjoyed fires on the beach, 4th of July fireworks, sailing, and kayaking. A lifelong learner, Ted earned a MA degree in Applied Behavioral Science in 1991 from City University in Seattle.
After moving into Winslow, Ted took up gardening. His garden on Annie Rose LN had a Japanese theme with several water elements. He became a Master Gardener and Garden Coach, mostly encouraging people to just enjoy their gardens.
A highlight for Ted was playing two roles in a Bainbridge Performing Arts production of, You Can’t Take It With You. Ted loved playing the accordion on the porch in the summer, and sometimes the nearby neighbors would clap in appreciation. The harmonica was his instrument. He especially enjoyed playing his harmonica for special family occasions and on the upper deck of the ferry.
Ted’s passion was art. He had a soulful aesthetic. He was a member of the Wednesday Watercolor Plein Air Group. He made copper garden gates and sculptures in his garage studio. Ted was very proud of the workshops he conducted where he helped people make their own drum and beater. You can view some of Ted’s art at https://tedhoppin.blogspot.com/
While Ted was primarily a homebody, he did enjoy his travels to Europe and Asia. Many special memories were made on Maui, Hawaii.
Ted loved his weekly bridge game with The Freezer Geezers, who met at Walt’s Lynwood Market. Most recently, Ted enjoyed playing chess, with Ted excelling at the endgame.
After a small stroke in ’04, Ted declared, “I want to live until I die”. Ted succeeded in doing just that, with great spirit, enthusiasm, and kindness.
Ted is survived by his wife of 43 years, Anne Sommer, their daughter, Erin Hoppin Lee, and two granddaughters, Hana and Ami Lee. He is also survived by his two daughters from his first marriage to Sara Hoppin; Edith “Edie” Hoppin (Ron Scheyer) of Seattle and Leigh
“Ginger” Niemann (Peter) of Port Townsend. He also leaves his brother, William Warner Hoppin, Jr. (JeanRolfe) of Seattle, his nephews William Warner Hoppin, Jr. (Amy Chramosta) of California, Stephen Jaffray Hoppin, (Robinette) of Colorado and four great-nephews. Tilly, their Covid dog, misses her daily walks to T&C with Ted to get The Seattle Times. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister-in-law, Bonnie Hoppin, and niece, Heather Hoppin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Ted’s name to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust or the charity or cause of your choice. A celebration of Ted’s life will be held at Seabold Hall on Bainbridge Island, April 1, 2023 from 11-1. Welcome to all whose hearts he touched. You are encouraged to bring a haiku or limerick, and to dress casually.