Although Michael Hopper had a quiet and reserved disposition, his supportive action and bold approach to life ring loud in his loved ones’ memories.
Michael Hopper was a third-generation Aggie, after his mother, uncle and grandfather. His love for A&M budded during his first football game, said Tracey Hopper, Michael’s mother.
“Going to [his first] A&M football game, and watching him get excited and loving that school as much as I did; it was awesome,” Tracey said. “He had gone through some hardships his sophomore year, but he overcame them and really worked hard. He faced a lot and overcame a lot.”
Michael was a political science junior and a part of the Chi Phi fraternity. He showed his loved ones and close friends appreciation by lending a listening ear whenever they needed it, said accounting and tax graduate student Sahel Ali.
“He was someone you could really open up to,” Ali said. “Michael came into my fraternity my junior year, when he was a freshman. Great guy, honestly, he was someone we truly loved —he was always there for me. [One of my favorite memories was] getting together every one to two weeks for our dinners. Our go-to spot was Wings N’ More.”
Indian food and sushi were among some of Michael’s favorite foods. His passion for various cuisines came from traveling with his family across the world, Tracey said.
“We were a big traveling family,” Tracey said. “My husband actually grew up in Europe, so we wanted to show the kids the world. He was born in California, then we moved to Colorado and then to Texas,” Tracey said. “He’s been to Europe several times, Alaska, Mexico, Grand Cayman. That was something he loved. He loved to try new foods, and the big city — the hustle and bustle.”
In addition to traveling, Michael loved to help whenever it was needed, said Joel Hopper, Michael’s father.
“Michael was always there — he was always the one with screwdriver in hand,” Joel said. “When I needed to get organized, Michael was always the one who organized everything for me. When it came to packing the car for a trip, he organized the trip, he did all those things. He was the kind of guy that knew how to solve problems and how to get things done in our family. His gift was organization and the ability to solve problems.”
Michael’s outstanding dedication to his friends and sympathetic nature inspired them to be better companions, said Alex Barclay, history junior and Michael’s fraternity brother.
“Be nicer to your friends, sometimes they’re a little more sensitive than they can portray,” Barclay said. “He was so deep, our conversations weren’t the normal fun conversations — they were fascinating.”
Michael’s strong will to experience life will continue on as his legacy, Tracey said.
“Something I’ve learned from Michael is that it’s okay to be scared to death of something, admit it, and then move on and go ahead and do it,” Tracey said. “And that’s what he did — he overcame whatever held him back his whole life.”