Family and friends are mourning the loss of a DeSoto man who died last weekend due to complications from COVID-19.
Jeffrey Hopkins, 66, was known to make others laugh, help those in need and was a master at the grill.
“Everybody who knows him, knows him for his barbecue, and they loved his barbeque,” his wife Pamela Hopkins said.
The pair, who would have been married for 40 years next August, both worked in law enforcement.
After 28 years as a Dallas County deputy constable, Hopkins said her husband retired in 2011.
“If you were feeling down and wanted to laugh, all you had to do was talk to Hopkins, he was always upbeat always smiling,” said Mack Cumby, a friend who also worked with Hopkins at the constable’s office for more than 20 years.
He and many others were shocked to learn of Jeffrey Hopkins’ passing.
Pamela Hopkins said it all started when she thought she had a seasonal cold in November, but once she lost her sense of smell, she got tested for COVID-19 and received a positive result.
She said her husband had been exposed to her for several days.
“It was a couple of days after that he ended up with a fever. I was going to take him to the doctor the next day, but he couldn’t walk, so I called 911,” Pamela Hopkins said.
Jeffrey Hopkins was hospitalized Nov. 6.
“For the first four days he was fine, we were talking on the phone, three to four times a day, he had watched the football game that Sunday. Then after four days of being in the hospital, I get a call from the doctor saying he had died and they had resuscitated him and he was on a ventilator,” Pamela Hopkins said.
Jeffrey Hopkins, who was diabetic, remained on a ventilator for 13 days, but died on Saturday from complications with the coronavirus.
“Keep your mask on because this is very serious. I don’t want nobody to go through what I’ve been going through for the last three weeks, this was devastating for me,” Pamela Hopkins said.
She said she believes she contracted the virus from a family member after she let her guard down. Pamela is encouraging others to not only continue wearing masks, but to check temperatures and pay attention to any type of illness.
She said she’s worried that’s how it spread to another family member.
“The same day I started having symptoms, one of my husband’s uncles was in the car with us with a mask and we had a mask on and he caught it too. He’s on a ventilator right now,” Pamela Hopkins said.
She said she hopes others listen to their family’s story.
“My husband touched so many people, always making you laugh, and I’m just going to miss him so much,” Hopkins said. She said her sons and grandchildren are what motivate her to keep going.
A viewing for Jeffrey Hopkins will be Friday at Evergreen Funeral Home from 3-8 p.m.
The funeral service will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Community Missionary Baptist Church at 820 E. Wintergreen Road in Cedar Hill.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.