Frank Marshall Hoopes, Jr. went peacefully to his Lord’s eternal home on June 4, 2023.
Frank was born in Wilmington, Delaware on March 19, 1936 and packed several lifetimes of
living into his 87 years. He grew up on Shipley Road and graduated from Wilmington Friends
School and Washington & Lee University. A fine athlete, Frank played baseball at Washington
& Lee and was the team’s most valuable player his senior year. Frank was president of his
fraternity, Delta Upsilon, in 1958. He continued his education at Columbia University School of
Business where he earned his MBA. Frank then served the country he loved so dearly in the
United States Army as a tank platoon leader at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Though his father conducted a successful dental practice in Wilmington, Frank did not
follow in his footsteps as his younger brother, Rob, later did. Instead, as Frank told it, “I always
wanted to be a businessman.” Frank joined the DuPont Company in 1960 and enjoyed a
distinguished career that spanned nearly 40 years. He served in several of the company’s
businesses, including automotive finishes, Teflon and Corian and finished his career at ICI when
DuPont swapped the Acrylic Monomers business that Frank directed. He retired with much
acclaim in 1999 having lived and worked in Cleveland, New York City, Toledo, Grand Rapids,
West Chester, Dallas, Miami and, of course, Wilmington.
Frank excelled at baseball, but his true fascination was with golf. Over the years, he
belonged to such wonderful clubs as Inverness Club, Doral Country Club, Blythfield and Grand
Harbor. He served as president of Eagles Mere Country Club where he spent many summers.
But he always belonged to his beloved Wilmington Country Club, having been a member for
over 70 years and serving in many leadership capacities.
Frank was a competitor. He loved the rough-and-tumble that he found in both business
and sports, but was a stickler for the rules, always holding himself to the same high standards of
conduct and decorum to which he was sure to hold his opponents. And he was no pushover,
loving the psychology of competition. His good-natured, creative and always hilarious trash talk
was something to behold. When asked about it, Frank once said, “Every golf match is won and
lost in the locker room when you’re putting on your shoes next to your opponent.” He could
give an earful.
As much as Frank loved business, golf, Philadelphia sports teams (and, yes, the Dallas
Cowboys), the greatest part of his heart belonged to his family, beginning with his wife Anne.
Frank and Anne were married in 1965 and were devoted to each other for those 58 years. He
always expressed gratitude that his daughters Laura Nilsen and Ashley Wilks both lived nearby
in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Frank was an attentive and doting grandfather to Laura’s boys,
Ryan and Brett, and Ashley’s girls, Sophie and Eliza. His sons-in-law, Keith Nilsen and David
Wilks, will always fondly recall Eagles Mere evenings with Frank and his good friend Johnnie
Frank Hoopes was one of a kind. He was fiercely loyal and he was lovingly gentle. He
was sternly serious about the things that matter and he was hilariously irreverent about the things
that don’t. He taught us much and we will miss him.
Our family cannot adequately express our love, respect and appreciation for the nurses,
aides and staff at Country House, where Frank finished his days. We witnessed selfless love and
great skill in action every day.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Frank’s memory to the Wounded
Warriors Project. A celebration of life will be held on June 29, 2023. Details available from the
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