Woodson "Woody" Marvin Hopkins
Friday 24th of September 1948 - Friday 19th of July 2019
159 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY
Woodson “Woody” Marvin Hopkins, age 70, passed away peacefully on July 19, 2019. He was born on September 24, 1948 in Pikeville where he grew into an accomplished high school football player. Woody moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1966 to attend the University of Kentucky. At UK, Woody was a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and remained close with many of his fraternity brothers throughout his life. During college, he met his beloved wife, Kathy Warford. Woody and Kathy were devoted partners for the next 50 years and enjoyed many passions together, including breeding and showing sport horses, caring for their many animals, and raising their adored son, Chapman (Ashley). After graduating from UK, Woody started what would be a nearly 40 year career in pharmaceuticals, ultimately working for more than two decades as a corporate executive with Novartis Pharmaceuticals and earning numerous accolades in the process, including National Managing Director of the year in 2010 and 2011 and the Novartis Distinguished Leader Award. Following his retirement, Woody devoted himself to spending time with his family and passionately following UK athletics and horse racing with his son. Most of all, he experienced immense joy being with his two beloved grandchildren, Lily and Meredith, and spoiling his bulldogs, Tybalt and Tilly. Woody was sentimental, proud, and an enthusiastic storyteller who could always be counted on for his sage counsel. Above all, Woody exemplified strength in the face of physical challenges and was a beacon of resiliency to all those who were fortunate enough to know him. He was a member of St. Raphael Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky where he previously served on the Vestry and was a member of the Thoroughbred Club of America. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Deane Hopkins, and his brother, Billy. Visitation at Milward Funeral Home on Broadway from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23rd. The family will hold a private burial. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Woodford Humane Society to honor his love for all creatures, great and small.
Kathy, Chapman and family, My deepest condolences on Woody’s passing. I very much appreciated his selecting me to work for him to open the Novartis regional office in Cary. I very much enjoyed his leadership style - inclusion of all people around him, standing up for employees’ due and promoting deserving people - especially women - to management positions in the region. I enjoyed many discussions with him on sports, Southern life growing up (shooting squirrels for dinner and eating collard greens) and his passion for family and horses. I am glad that he got to move back to KY to finish out his career, see his son grow and marry, and experience grandfatherhood.
So sorry to hear Woody. Prayers for the family.
Bari Lynn Bevinssays
We grew up as childhood friends. I have only good memories. My prayers are with the family and friends.
Saw Woody at many sales meetings and launches.He was always happy to see you and we always had some good chats. I have a portrait of Woody from his Novartis days. Let me know if anybody in the family would want the jpeg.
So sad to hear of Woody's passing. I enjoyed his leadership, friendship and mentoring in the time we worked together at Ciba-Geigy/Novartis. He made significant contributions to my career and was the most supportive leader I ever worked under. I pray that the family will find peace and comfort in the days ahead.
Wood - what remarkable memories - crazy misadventures, laughter to the point of “cannot breathe”, eating popcorn and playing spades with our new brides.... and on and on. You were one of the the true “lights of my life”. Truly believe we will meet again. Love you like the brother you were. Rest In Peace.