Fred Nyland Hopewell

Fred Nyland Hopewell of Florence, SC, died October 23, 2016 at McLeod Hospice House after an extended illness.

The son of Harry Stanley Hopewell and Ruby Nye Hopewell, he was born on January 19, 1933 at home in Gloucester, Virginia. He attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia, the beginning of a long military career. While serving in the Marine Corps, Fred was accepted to the United States Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1956. He joined the Air Force after graduation and served as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI) which led to assignments in Charleston, South Carolina, Ohio, and Wiesbaden, Germany. He had a two-year tour at Cape Canaveral, Florida and two assignments at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. During his first tour at the Academy he was an Instructor and Training Director. Fred also coached JV Baseball and enjoyed skiing, hunting and fishing throughout Colorado. 

Fred served a year in Vietnam in 1970 – 1971 with the Joint Personnel Recovery Center which was tasked with developing intelligence on the location of POWs and then trying where possible to rescue them. During his second tour at the Air Force Academy he was the Director of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program and also earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He then served as Commander of the Air Force ROTC Detachment at Utah State University. He was the Commander of AFOSI, District 4, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland and then served as the Director of Training for the AFOSI Training Academy at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. He retired as a Colonel in 1984. 

Immediately after his military retirement Fred began his second career with Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. He worked in the fields of security and corporate ethics and retired as the Security Director in 2007.


Fred and his wife Susan Tilton Hopewell moved to Florence in 2009. He was predeceased by his parents and his younger brother John Stanley Hopewell, of Richmond, Virginia. He is survived by his wife Susan Tilton Hopewell of Florence and his four children: Michael Stanley Hopewell (Beth) of Florence; Kimberly Hopewell Velasquez of Florence; Patrick Dean Hopewell (Jenna) of Orlando, Florida; and Paige Hopewell Whitaker (Justin) of Columbia. Fred is also survived by five grandchildren: Philip Lewis Hopewell and Hannah Kathryn Hopewell, both of Columbia; Ryan Nyland Velasquez and Danielle Hope Velasquez, both of Florence; and Abbey Lynn Velasquez of Columbia. He is also survived by a nephew, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Peter Housel Hopewell (Liz) of Annandale, Virginia.


The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Magnolia Terrace Memory Care Unit at Methodist Manor and the staff of McLeod Hospice House.


A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Church in Florence on Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 2:00 pm, followed by an interment of ashes with military honors at the Memorial Garden at St. John’s. Visitation will follow in the Parish Hall. Services are directed by Waters-Powell Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to St. John’s Church, 252 South Dargan Street, Florence, SC 29506 or to McLeod Hospice House, Post Office Box 100551, Florence, SC 29502.