Lewis Alexander Hopkins, a former Del Mar City Council member and mayor, died June 24 of a heart attack in San Antonio, Texas. He was 79.
Hopkins joined the Navy on July1, 1940 as an apprentice seaman and retired in 1974 as a Rear Admiral, Upper Half. During his naval career he served in World War II as a dive-bomber pilot, participating in the Battle of Midway where he was awarded the Navy Cross. After the war Hopkins earned a Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was considered a pioneer in the development of jet engines. In the 1970s his posts included commander of the Naval Missile Center in Ventura, CA and assistant chief of the Naval Air Command for Research and Development. Hopkins retired in 1974 and moved to Del Mar where he became active in the community. In 1994 he moved to San Antonio. Hopkins is survived by his wife Mary, three daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.