It is with great sadness that we announce that our father, Joseph Michael Hoppel, Sr. “Joe” has passed away on Dec. 26, 2023 at the age of 89.
Joe was born on July 17, 1934 to Martin & Helen Hoppel. He has 3 surviving siblings, brothers Dick & Tom & sister Coleen. He grew up in Nicktown Pa & after graduation from Spangler High School went off to Radio City Broadcasting School in New York.
After graduation he got a job in Portsmouth Va working for WLOW & eventually got hired at a Brand New Country Music Station WCMS that he worked on his morning show for over 48 years. His show became one of the most popular in the area and His many awards include Country Music Association Music Director of the Year, and an award from the CMA for 40 consecutive years in Country music broadcasting. Joe won the CMA Pioneer Award in 1994, was nominated for National Country Music DJ of year many times and was proudly inducted into the Country Music D J Hall of Fame in 2002.
Over his career he met legendary artists such as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntyre, Alabama and too many more to list. He was known for collecting photographs of himself with Country artists putting him in a headlock which was captured in a book that he wrote in 2010.
Joe also raised money for many local organizations such as Union Mission, Joy Fund, Cancer research, American Heart Assoc., Arthritis Foundation, CHKD & was a TV Host of the Labor Day MDA telethon. He created “Tell Someone They’re Doing A Good Job” week, which is celebrated on the last full week before Christmas.
He was a member of the KOC Mother Teresa of Calcutta & founding member of both St. Gregory The Great & Ascension Catholic churches of which he was a part of the men’s club.
He was predeceased by his wife Sue and son Don. He leaves behind Michael (Carole), Terri (Mike), Debbi (Tony) and Judi (Tim) as well as 9 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
He loved his family, friends, faithful listeners and colleagues and he will be so dearly missed by all of us. His sign off from his show everyday was “Have Yourself a nice day won’t you, You got a nice day for it”. No truer words can be said.
Donations can be made to a local charity of your choice. A public service will be held 1:00 Friday Jan 5th at 1:00 Church of the Ascension 4853 Princess Anne Rd. Va. Beach. A reception will be held in the church social hall immediately after.