Obituary of Les Hopkins

From the Idaho Statesman, March 31, 2009

Les Hopkins died of cancer at home on March 27, 2009, surrounded by his wife of 61 years, Flo, and all seven of their children, Con, Barb, Bob, Don, Barry, Judy and Sam. He was born Feb. 3, 1927 in Tructon, Colo., the third child of Goldie Eliza (Hitchcock) and Samuel Lester (Shorty) Hopkins. The family moved to Marsing, Idaho, in late 1929 and then to West Logan Street in Caldwell in 1930. During his teen years, he worked with his father and brothers cutting and selling firewood. The boys’ would make a little extra money in the fall by cutting Christmas trees and stuffing them between the cut wood and selling them at the “Saturday sale.” This venture eventually developed into a full-fledged logging and Christmas tree cutting operation. He graduated from Caldwell High School in 1945 and was proud of having lettered in all four sports. Within two weeks of graduation, he enlisted in the Army and after 12 weeks of training, headed to New York where he boarded a ship to Europe. He served in France and Germany before receiving his papers to be sent home in the spring of 1946. Shortly after returning home, he met his wife-to-be, Florence Montgomery. They were married on Jan. 18, 1948, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Caldwell. While they were dating, Flo taught Les to dance, an activity the two enjoyed together throughout their lives, still “cuttin’ a rug” at every chance they got. After marrying, he continued to work with his dad, Shorty, and brothers, Bob and Harold, at the family-owned sawmill at Purple Sage. Les ranched and farmed from 1959 until 1966. Together with his sons, Bob and Don, Les started a business that became known as Hopkins Antique Autos and Hopkins Christmas Tree Farm. Over the years, Les was an avid supporter of his children’s and grandchildren’s participation in sports and was an active member of the Middleton Booster Club. As President, he presided over the construction of the Middleton High School Track and Football field in 1968. Dad always provided a good living for us, but most importantly, he taught us how to have fun while giving us a healthy respect for good, hard work. While they logged he always had time to take us fishing and hunting. After the Christmas rush was over there were trees to be burned, sledding behind the Jeep and tubing on the snow covered foothills. At the ranch, we swam in and water skied on the canals. Our home was always bustling with activities; horses, dogs, cars, school, sports, friends and relatives and always FUN! With Dad, family always came first, with fishing being a close second. Les was preceded in death by his father, Lester “Shorty” Hopkins, his mother, Goldie Hopkins, and his brother, Robert “Bob” Hopkins. Les is survived by his wife Flo (Montgomery) Hopkins, a brother, Harold Hopkins, a sister, Lavena Farris and husband Elvin, his seven children and their spouses, Connie and Richard Brandau, Barbara Romero, Bob and Marge Hopkins, Don and Linda Hopkins, Barry and Kris Hopkins, Judy and Doug Moser, and Sam and Julli Hopkins. He also has left behind 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren who will very much miss all of the teasing and smiles he brought to their lives. A Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. Friends and family are welcome to a gathering in the downstairs of Orphan Annie’s following the service at Dakans. Condolences can be sent of the family at