• 81°

William Briggs Hopson Jr.

William Briggs Hopson Jr. was born in Delhi, La. in 1937. He departed this life on June 20, 2020, when he joined his parents, the late Mary Jane and W. Briggs Hopson Sr., in heaven.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, he received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he served as chief resident and associate professor of surgery.

He began his medical career in Vicksburg at the Street Clinic in 1967. He continued his medical work in Vicksburg until his retirement in 2018. During that time, he served as chief of staff, president (and chairman of the board) of the local hospital and clinic, respectively. He was elected as a fellow to the American College of Surgeons and a diplomat to the American Board of Surgery. He received numerous accolades throughout his career.

His passion for trauma medicine resulted in him being named State Trauma Director. In this capacity, he was a representative to the American College of Surgeons for over 25 years.  He worked with the committee to create national guidelines for Advanced Trauma Life Support. He taught the first ATLS course in the state of Mississippi and taught ATLS courses around the county. He also served twenty-seven years as the State Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services.

Gov. Kirk Fordice tapped Dr. Hopson to chair the State’s Committee on Health Care. During this time, he was instrumental in passing Mississippi’s ATLS law, creating levels of trauma centers throughout the state. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove appointed him to serve on the Mississippi State Board of Health.

He served as president of the Mississippi State Medical Association from 1999-2000 and was a delegate to the American Medical Association for eight years.

Dr. Hopson was a former associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and was named to the 2016 Medical Center Hall of Fame.

He served his country for 18 years, 10 of those being command surgeon of the 412th Army Engineering Command.

Dr. Hopson devoted a large portion of his time to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi. He was elected president of the Alumni Association from 2001-2003. He was later selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame.

He served as Chairman of the Board of the Miss Mississippi Organization for over 25 years. He and his wife, Pat were instrumental in preparing representatives for the Miss America Pageant and providing millions of dollars of scholarship for the education of young women throughout the state. In 2017 he received the Miss Mississippi Organization Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Hopson was active and supportive of many charities in Vicksburg. He was a loyal and active member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church as chairman of the administrative board and Sunday School teacher for over 50 years. He served on numerous local Boards including the Red Carpet Bowl Committee (Chairman), Hinds Community College, Merchants Bank, and RiverHills Bank. He proudly served as team doctor for Warren Central High School for many years. Dr. Hopson gave generously of his time and resources to help countless people throughout the community, state and nation.

He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Pat Hopson; his brother Jimmy Hopson (Sue) of Delhi, La.; children Karen Hopson Hall (Reggie) of Dallas, Texas; Kathy Hopson Ricks (Kerry) of Vicksburg; Sen. W. Briggs Hopson III (Ali) of Vicksburg; and Jay Hopson (Michelle) of Hattiesburg; and grandchildren Anna Kate Moen Modisett (Brian), Tanner Hall, Neal Ricks, Travis Hall, Liam Hopson, Walt Hopson, Wesley Ricks, Hyde Hopson, Hannah Hopson and Jane Hopson.

The Hopson family wishes to thank the following: Dr. Murray Whitaker, Dr. Paul Pierce, Dr. Sam Pierce, Dr. Tom Sligh, Dr. Carlos Latorre, Dr. Ruth Fredericks, Dr. David Fagan, Dr. Scott McPherson, the staff of Encompass Hospice, the staff and medical providers at Merit Health River Region, Charlene Moore, Janice Brewer, Rose Nixon and Kay Murrell.

The family invites the public to a drive-by visitation at the Vicksburg Convention Center, located at 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd. from 1:30 to 3:30 pm on Friday, June 26.

The family has created an interactive website, BriggsHopsonMemorial.com, where friends and loved ones can send messages of condolence or share memories.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following: Dr. W. B. Hopson Jr. Memorial Scholarship at the Miss Mississippi Corporation; Crawford Street United Methodist Church; The University of Mississippi Foundation; The American Heart Association; or a charity of your choice.