Herbert M. Hoppe, 83, Sauk Rapids and formerly of St. Cloud
June 25, 1934 - March 28, 2018
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sauk Rapids for Herbert M. Hoppe, age 83 of Sauk Rapids and formerly of St. Cloud who passed away on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Reverend Ralph Zimmerman will officiate. Entombment will take place at the Assumption Cemetery Mausoleum in St. Cloud.
Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud and after 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday at the church. Parish prayers will be at 4:00 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home in St. Cloud.
Herbert (Herbie) was born June 25th, 1934 in New Munich, Minnesota to Alois and Rose (Klassen) Hoppe. Herbie grew up on the family dairy farm outside of New Munich on the banks of Lake Getchel. On October 26th, 1957, Herb married his sweetheart Valeria Kolb in St. Martin.
After graduating from Melrose High School in 1952, Herb pursued his passions in life – baseball, hunting, horticulture, radio and family with Valeria Hoppe.
Although unable to pitch in high school because of spring farm work, Herb developed into an ace pitcher for amateur teams in New Munich and Sauk Rapids. He once pitched 2 consecutive no-hitters. In his early years Herb was also an avid hunter, although much of his interest was focused on the social aspects of sportsmanship. From the many weekends spent duck hunting at the family farm, the annual pilgrimage to Bemidji to reconnect with his cousins for deer season, to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska for caribou, Herb enjoyed hunting to connect with people.
Herb, or “Father Arbor Day” as he was sometimes called, also loved to grow plants. Whether it was trees, grape vines or fruit bushes, and especially his prized blue berries, there wasn’t a plant Herb didn’t think should have a chance to grow.
Herb’s pursuits of wireless communication began with his education at DeVry Technical School in Chicago and then his career as a TV repair man. With a lot of perseverance, a bit of divine intervention and a focus on engineering, Herb founded Tri-County Broadcasting in Sauk Rapids, MN. The first of the five radio stations which comprise Tri-County today, AM 800 WVAL, was launched in August of 1963. Herb named the station after his wife Val. WVAL would be the first “Country and Western” station in Central Minnesota, bringing upstarts like Dolly Parton to the stage of Sauk Rapids High School.
Herb Hoppe continued to guide Tri-County Broadcasting for the next 55 years from its original “Red House” location. Tri-County grew, adding FM 101.7 WHMH in 1979 and eventually adding 3 additional radio stations into the first in the US, AM directional quadplex radio tower field. In 2004 Tri-County Broadcasting launched the nation’s first satellite-networked NCAA D3 Sports Network, supporting and promoting St. John’s University athletics.
As other local broadcast owners sold out during the consolidation of radio, Herb remained independent. He relied on his farm-raised work ethic, the unwavering support of his wife and the next Hoppe generation, and his belief in the craft of local radio.
Herb and Val, his wife of more than 60 years, raised 7 children - Linda (Mark) Youngdale of Minneapolis, Kurt (Lynn) of Rochester, Gary of St. Cloud, Brenda (Bob) Zink of Portland, Oregon, Wanda (Tim) Wright of Blaine, Mark (Kate) of St. Paul, and Keith (Mary) of Eagan – on the values of hard work, perseverance and education.
In addition to his loving wife and children, Herb is survived by 18 grandchildren, and brothers Elmer (Shoreview), MN and Ron (New Munich, MN) and sisters Evelyn (Paynesville, MN), Dorothy (Freeport, MN), and Ruth (Seattle, WA).
Herb was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Judy and Rita, and brother Danny.
Memorials to Sacred Heart Church of Sauk Rapids are preferred in lieu of flowers.