Remembering “Mr. Hopewell” through the D. Paul Karnes Endowment for Wellness
There are many ways to honor the memory of a loved one. For Judy Karnes, wife of the late JRF trustee and Hopewell community advocate, David Paul Karnes, establishing an endowment in his name at the Foundation was the best way to keep his legacy alive. The endowment supports the City Point 5K & Kids Fun Run where all kids run for free.
As Judy reminisced about their life together, she spoke lovingly and with great respect about the man to whom she had been married for 40 years. “Paul didn’t have an easy life,” she said. “His father died when he was a senior at Hopewell High School, and Paul worked hard to take care of his family. While his friends went on to college, Paul got a job as a draftsman with the Virginia Department of Transportation.”
Judy and Paul began dating in their early twenties. While Judy worked in the accounting department of Allied Construction, Paul became a buyer of cotton linter machines for Hercules where he continued to work for over 30 years. He also sold real estate for the Ford Agency.
“He liked his work, but his real love was serving his community,” said Judy. Paul was one of the largest blood donors in the area, giving hundred of pints of blood during his lifetime. Paul volunteered many municipal, civic, and philanthropic organizations to make Hopewell a great place to work, live, and raise a family. In addition to serving as the Mayor of Hopewell from 1992-1994, he achieved many more titles during his lifetime: “Spark Plug of the Year”, “Kiwanian of the Year”, and even “Soldier of the Year” during his time in the National Guard. But people here affectionately referred to him as “Mr. Hopewell” because of his tireless service to the city he loved.
Paul served as a JRF Trustee from 2007-2012. Because he understood that wellness and prevention are key elements to improving the overall health of a community, one of Paul’s greatest achievements was working with JRF to establish the Hopewell-Prince George Community Health Center. He also was a regular participant in the annual City Point 5K that JRF sponsors.
Paul’s belief in community wellness combined with his love for the City of Hopewell inspired Judy to establish the D. Paul Karnes Endowment for Wellness. The endowment supports the annual City Point 5K & Kids Fun Run.Tags: Donor Story, Hopewell, Nonprofit, Philanthropy
This post was written by Jennifer Brown