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Earl Howard Hopkins

January 25, 1941 December 6, 2021
Earl Howard Hopkins
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Obituary for Earl Howard Hopkins

Faced with the challenges of aging and multiple medical issues, on December 6, 2021, heaven gained another angel. Earl Howard “Poppa” Hopkins was 80 years old. During his last great nap “checking his eyes for light leaks,” Earl a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and consummate napper received his wings as he passed peacefully at the family home in Spokane Washington.

Earl was born January 25, 1941 in Spokane Washington to Dwight and Maerilla (Stroud) Hopkins. Earl graduated from North Central High School in 1959. Attending Central Valley High School until his senior year he always considered CVHS his alma mater. April 15, 1961, Earl married his high school sweet heart and the love of his life Sandra Grace Betker. They bought their family home in 1965 where they raised their three children. Earl and Sandra celebrated their 60th Anniversary in 2021.

Earl joined the Navy Reserves in 1958 serving 1 year before going active-duty. After 2 years active-duty, he remained in the Navy Reserves and retired after 21 years of service. Earl gained work experience in many fields like coffin making, gandy dancer for the railroad, and office machine repairs, before he began working for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department. Starting out as a Jailer and later transitioning into Radio Dispatch, Earl retired from the Sheriff’s Department after 31 years of service. To keep busy post retirement, Earl worked at odd jobs that included being a Christmas package wrapper, Charter Bus Driver, and School Bus Driver. That need to work after retirement ended rather quickly and Earl was finally able to relax and enjoy his retirement. He did however, continue to be the “Family Taxi Driver” until he was unable to drive any longer.

Earl loved spending time with his family, camping, fishing, motorcycle riding, four-wheeling and gold panning. He loved his four-wheeler so much that he would drive it down the sidewalk and snow plow the entire block. He was a long-time member of the Eagles even serving as a Past Worthy President. Earl avidly supported his children and grandchildren in school, sports and scouting. He was even brave enough to drive a Charter Bus full with 2 of his grandsons and their entire Boy Scout Troop to the Oregon coast for Summer Camp staying at the camp with them the entire week.

Earl was known for his silly wit, his infectious smile, his stories and his kind and compassionate spirit. He was always the first one to lend a hand when someone was in need. Earl never knew a stranger, he COULD and WOULD talk to anyone that would listen or engage in conversation.

Earl was preceded in death by his son Daniel Hopkins, parents Dwight and Maerilla Hopkins, father-in-law Oscar Betker, sister Margaret Simpson and brother Elwood Hopkins. Earl is survived by his wife and one true love Sandra Grace Hopkins. His mother-in-law (adopted mom) Elsie Grace Betker “Gigi.” Children (Daniel) Candy Hopkins, Susan and Bryan Stauffer, and Robert and Sonya Hopkins. Earl relished the roll of “Poppa” to grandchildren Jillian and Christopher (Cassandra) Hopkins, Derek (Rae), Zakary (Tiffany) and Kelsey (Catitlin) Rakentine, Jamie and Eric Peery and Mahari Rash. One of his great grandchildren dubbed him “Pa” and he rocked that honor to River and Deacon Hopkins, Daylen and Grayson Rakentine, Denver and Everleigh Rakentine, Cayle Harris, Peyton Raczykowski, and Zachary and Madalynne Gardner. Brother Vernon Hopkins, 2 sister-in-law’s, 1 brother-in-law, many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and other extend family.
Throughout life, if ANYONE would ask him “How are you doing?” his response always was “Mean, onery, nasty, disagreeable, rude, crude and socially unacceptable. And if I was doing any better, I’d have to be twins and the world couldn’t handle that!” Well, we wish he was twins now because we miss him so much. Eight and the moon Daddy, forever and ALWAYS!
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Spokane, PO Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210.

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