Christine Ruffin Hopkins was born to the late Martin Van and Velma Brookins Ruffin on December 27, 1931 in Pushmataha, Alabama. Mrs. Hopkins was the third of twelve children born to them, the grandchild of Redden (Jr.) and Lucinda Phillips Ruffin, and Ledger and Alice Coleman Brookins.
Christine Hopkins was raised in Pushmataha and spent most of her life there. She was baptized as a child and belonged to the family church, Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church. Her early education took place at the Mt. Nebo School, and she earned her high school diploma from the Choctaw County Training School. She attended college at the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (Alabama A&M), earning a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1953, followed by a Master’s Degree in 1971.
She had an extensive teaching career in Choctaw County, and worked for the Choctaw County School System for more than 31 years. She taught at the following schools: Red Creek, Mt. Nebo, Petty Hill, Mt. Sterling, Choctaw Unity, Indian Springs, East Choctaw, Butler Elementary, Lisman Elementary, Choctaw County High, and Tom Orr Technical Center. In the latter part of her career, she taught Special Education, and served for a period of time as the Special Education Coordinator for Choctaw County. Expanding on her Master’s Degree in Education and credentials in Special Education, she became a certified Psychometrist.
She married the late Robert Louis Hopkins, whom she knew from childhood, as he was raised in a home not far from hers in the Pushmataha community. To this union, one child was born, Deborah Rose. The family lived for a time in Birmingham, Alabama where Robert worked as an upholsterer. Following his tragic death in a motor vehicle accident in 1965, she built a home in Pushmataha near her parent’s home on Mt. Nebo Road. Her house was one of hospitality – with family members and friends coming to share a meal, spend the night, a summer, or more. If family were a university she would certainly have been a renowned professor, for she taught us to honor and preserve those people and connections defined and given to us by God. She taught us to love in deeds and actions, and to honor our ancestors by living well and going far.
Mrs. Hopkins died on June 24, 2020 at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Duncanville, AL. She was preceded in death by her siblings Lucy Henderson, Obbie Ruffin, Al Fredrick Ruffin, and Elbert Wendell Ruffin.
She is survived by her daughter Deborah Rose and devoted son-in law Johnny L. Tucker, grandchildren Robert DeVan Tucker of Athens, GA, Karenina Diane Tucker and Jonathan Matthew Tucker of Tuscaloosa, great-grandchildren Major and Landon Milligan; sisters Kassie B. Harris, Barbara Ruffin, and Vernice J. Ruffin of Lisman, AL; brothers Lenzell (Loretta) Ruffin of Washington, D. C., Charles A. Ruffin of Lisman, AL, Van A. Ruffin of Rochester, N.Y., and Franklin (Annie) Ruffin of Tuscaloosa, AL; and a host of nieces, nephews, and an extended clan of family and friends who will no doubt cherish her memory for years to come.
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Mt. Nebo Baptist Church
3216 Mt. Nebo Road, Lisman AL 36912
Mt. Nebo Baptist Church Building Fund