Harvey “Harve” Hop Jr.
- January 15, 2023
Harvey “Harve” Hop Jr.
Harvey Nathan Hop Jr., 80, passed away peacefully and without pain Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, due to complications from a stroke. Harvey Jr. was born Sept. 8, 1942, in Springfield, Mo., to Harvey and Miriam Hop. He was the eldest of the five children. As a “Navy brat” his early life saw him live in five states as well as Puerto Rico and Panama until finally settling in Cedar Rapids in 1959.
arvey graduated from Washington High School in 1960. He then joined the Marines and served dutifully for four years and was honorably discharged. He languished for a while before attending State Teachers college in Cedar Falls. It was while there Harvey played freshman football and joined the gymnastics team. It was through gymnastics that Harvey met the woman he would soon marry. Harvey and Vicki Walder were wed on Sept. 8, 1967. They would have two children and their union would last 26 years.
After graduating in 1970 Harvey was hired to teach Driver’s Ed at Kennedy High School, where he would enjoy a 30-year tenure during which he also coached boys’ and girls’ swimming/diving, boys’ gymnastics, and boys’ track and field weight events, guiding multiple State Champions. In addition to this Harvey essentially ran the school weight room or “Hop’s Body Shop” for nearly two decades.
It was during these years Harvey’s passion for teaching and coaching, in combination with his outsized personality, cultivated countless lifetime friendships, influencing and inspiring many of those he met.
Outside school Harvey was “The biggest kid on the block,” revered for his hand crafted balsa gliders, leather weight lifting belts, giant kites, snowmen, and igloos. Our home was a destination for the kids in our neighborhood.
Harvey retired in 2000 and spent his time revisiting the weight room he was so proud of and indulged in riding his Harleys and flying many passengers in his airplane.
Unfortunately, the freedom of retirement would be short lived, 2006 and 2007 were marked by significant health events that grounded him as a pilot and motorcyclist. He spent his later years playing Sudoku, attending and chronicling the Thursday ROF gatherings at Hy-Vee, and corresponding with his many, many friends.
Harvey was preceded in death by his father, Harvey Sr.; mother, Miriam; beloved daughter, Jennifer, niece Traci, and his brother Bruce. He is survived by his sister, Jon Lee; brothers, Jim (Jill) and Karl (Lane); niece, Kelly; great-niece, Skyler; granddaughter, Olivia; and his son, Scott (Suzy).
Thank you to the emergency responders, The St. Luke’s Emergency, ICU, and nursing staff who admirably cared for Harvey until the end. Your comfort and understanding were a balm to me. You have my utmost gratitude.
It was Harvey’s wish not to have a formal service. Instead, a celebration of Harvey’s life will be held at a later date, yet to be determined. Thank you all for your patience in this overwhelming time.
Harvey was a loving son, brother, neighbor, mentor, friend, and father. He lived a full and vibrant life. It was his gift to us. For all who knew Harvey, please remember him well.