Wesley Gene Hoppe
A Farnam teen-ager, Wes Hoppe, was killed early Saturday when his small car collided headon with a tractor trailer near Maryville, Missouri.
Also killed were Janet Hawk of Des Moines, Iowa, Stephen Purnell of Glenwood, and Thomas McAlexander, Council Bluffs. All were 19 and passengers in the Hoppe auto.
Troopers said the collision occured four miles north of Maryville about 1:20 a.m. The car was eastbound when it apparently crossed the center line and collided with the truck. It was not determined who was driving at the time.
The driver of the truck received minor injuries. Two passengers in his cab were taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as not serious.
The four youth were students at Northwest Missouri State University at Maryville.
Wesley Gene Hoppe, first born living son of Gene and Betty Hoppe, began his life April 6, 1956 at Gothenburg, Nebraska. At the age of 19 years, 9 months and 11 days he departed this life from Maryville, Missouri as the result of an automobile accident.
Wesley grew to young manhood in Farnam, attending the Farnam Public Schools and United Methodist Church where he was baptized as an infant, confirmed, and became a faithful member. His life was filled with many tributes and being very modest he took each in his stride as another job well done. Among these were Great-Plains Most Valuable Player, All-State Selection several times, Boys State Representative, United Methodist Youth Fellowship president, Outstanding Teenager of America Award, academic awards in Industrial Arts, dramatics, Student Council President and humble recipient of the Gene Widick Memorial award. To his many school and church activities he added time for hunting with his dad and friends. He added to his pleasure of living, work, which he did diligently and with pride and self satisfaction.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his mom and dad; brother, Wendel and his wife, Kathy of Maryville, Missouri; brother, Weldon and sister, Sharla of his home. Grandparents, Nina Thompson, Ed and Lois Hoppe of Farnam and Maude McLaughlin of Omaha. Six aunts and uncles and their families, his cousins, many other relatives and a score of friends, both young and old.
Wesley was preceded in death by an infant brother, John Edward in 1954; his grandfather, Elgie Thompson and great-grandfather, James McLaughlin.
Wesley had no enemy, lived his life with zeal and joy, filled each day to the brim and slept only when he had to.
He will be missed by many but leaves only good memories for them to guide their lives by. May he continue to live in each, to the glory of God.
Services were held on Monday, January 19, 1976 at 10 a.m. at the Farnam United Methodist Church, with the Pastor, the Rev. Leonard S. Clark, and the Rev. Harold Ellis of the Farnam Church of the Nazarene officiating. Music was furnished by Miss Susan Bick at the piano and Mr. Carroll VanCleave of Gothenburg as soloist, accompanying himself on the guitar. He sang "Country Roads," "Silent Sunlight" and "Do Lord." The congregation joined in singing the hymn "How Great Thou Art."
Casket bearers were Garold Messersmith, Chuck Brauer, Deloit Cross, Rick Williams, Richard Edson, William Roux and Steve Scroggins. Honorary bearers were Hank Voss, Mark Smallfoot, Teammates of the classes of 1971-77, Coaches Sauer, Fuller, Gumb and Alsup.
Interment was in the Farnam Cemetery under the direction of McVay Memorial Chapel of Gothenburg.
The Free Press, January 22, 1976
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