Kenneth “Hoppy” Hoskin; “the inventor of salty.”

“It is with heavy hearts that the members of West Warwick Firefighters Local 1104 announce the Active Duty death of Fire Alarm Dispatcher Kenneth “Hoppy” Hoskin.
Hoppy served as a dispatcher for Local 1104 since 2007 after his retirement from the Providence Fire Department.
Please keep his family , friends ,and the members of local 1104 in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this difficult loss.”

If any of us deserves a farewell fit for a firefighter, it’s Hoppy. Life can be cruel, and sometimes those tributes just can’t happen. I decided to do something, and created a tiny part of what would have been epic.

Rest in Peace my friend, and know this; you are bigger than the biggest tribute ever concieved.

A thousand Harleys lead the way, the roar deafening, American flags unfurled from many as they roll down the boulevard. The police have stopped traffic at the intersections as they roll past, people sit patiently, respectfully and wait. As the engine roar diminishes a steady drum takes its place, and pipes pierce the crisp spring air. Hundreds of pipers, and drummers, their tartans sharp, their firefighter sporran swaying in time with their marching feet escort the meticulussly maintained apparatus that carries the remains of Hoppy. His flag draped coffin is surrounded by Honor Guards from Providence and West Warwick, flowers, and tributes, heavily worn turnout gear rests on the back step, and a bell is rung in cadence with the march.

Thousands of mourners line the streets, citizens whose lives have been touched by the giant of a man inside the casket, as firefighters from all corners of the country, and many parts of the world, their dress blues, mourning badges and white gloves cleaned and pressed, some with medals, all with badges earned pay tribute to their mentor, their friend, their brother by participating in his final march.

Fields full of those firefighters salute the man with crisp salutes as rifle shots break the silence, and he is laid to rest.

As day turns to night, and the club is packed, and the uniforms loosen, and the drink flows, the tales begin, and the laughter is contagious, songs are sung, toasts are made and the joy that lived inside Kenneth Hoppy Hoskin is spread among the gathering that celebrates his life well into the morning.

 

Sincere condolences to close friends and family of Hoppy. I cannot imagine your grief. I hope the knowledge that it is shared by the thousands he touched in thousands of ways provides some comfort in these difficult days.

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