BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Alaina Grace Hopkinson, a 2019 Clarkston High School graduate who died Sept. 28 at the age of 17, is being remembered as a positive person in every way.
She survived 17 years with cystic fibrosis, graduating with honors this past spring and visiting both Germany and Switzerland in recent years.
“We are all very saddened by her passing,” said Gary Kaul, CHS principal. “Alaina was a very sweet girl, a high-achieving student with many friends and was close to several members of our staff.”
Online tributes recognized the type of person Hopkinson was.
“We are so saddened by the loss of Alaina, such a beautiful and kind girl,” said Nancy O’Brien. “Our hearts are breaking. We fondly remember her and Lauren’s recent Germany trip.”
“Alaina, you were only in our lives a short time, but in that time, you quickly became a part of our family and took a place within our hearts,” added Stefanie Martindale. “We love you sweet girl, time to rest now. Thinking of everyone touched by your smile and laughter, prayers for peace and comfort.”
Jerri Grogan said her family only knew Hopkinson for a short time but fell in love with her “vibrant personality and infectious laugh.”
“Sit among the angels and creep in our dreams at night,” Grogan said.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet girl,” noted Leighnia Nance. “She was one of the best young ladies I ever cared for. Her smile could light up any room. Prayers for you all.”
Hopkinson was happy to spend much of her free time in the service of others. She was a member of buildOn at Clarkston High School. She also tutored elementary school children, worked in the LINK program assisting students with disabilities, and volunteered for Buddy Baseball in the summer.
She received scholarship offers from several universities but chose Grand Valley State University to begin her college career. She was accepted into Delta Sigma Pi, the school’s business fraternity.
“Alaina will be remembered for her loving and joyful personality,” read her online obituary. “She survived 17 years with cystic fibrosis but was never a victim of her disease. She lived her life to the fullest and brought joy to all those with whom she came to meet. Her friends and family will miss the memes and silly selfies, which she delighted in sending in order to brighten another’s day.”
Hopkinson is preceded in death by her grandfather, William Hopkinson. She is survived by her mother Patricia Podina, stepfather Chad Podina, brothers Brian and Jacob, sisters Kaitlyn, Allison, Bryana, Lily, and Aubrey, grandmother Marie Forester (Kenneth), aunts Beth Smith (Timothy), Anne Hopkinson, Cathy Fox (Kenneth), and Amy Groves (Forest), uncle Don Hopkinson (Kathleen), and 21 cousins.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, located at 5481 Dixie Highway in Waterford.