Donald Hopkins


August 2, 2023

Donald Earl Hopkins was born to Donald S. and Dorothy Hopkins on December 31, 1936 in Toledo, Oregon. He joined his sister, Florence, growing up in the coastal mountain country between Newport and Eddyville and later welcomed his younger sister, Judy. During his teen years he lived with the Calendar family while attending Toledo High School where he graduated as salutatorian in 1956.

He supported himself working at a variety of jobs, the Toledo Funeral Home, the U.S. Forest service and Jonas Brothers Fur Company in Alaska while continuing his education at Oregon State University. He obtained his bachelor's degree there in 1963 and his master's degree in 1971 and became a loyal OSU alumn. He also became a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity and remained active in it for several years. His first teaching job was in Waldport and from there he moved to Junction City where he served as principal of Central and Territorial elementary schools.

In Junction City he hired a fifth grade teacher who became his wife. Following their June wedding the couple moved to Bend where both obtained teaching jobs. They still maintained a fondness for the community of Eddyville and when a cousin's ranch on Highway 20 just east of this little village went on the market Don decided to purchase it. They moved there but planned to teach for the state department in Sophia, Bulgaria until that move was aborted. They found positions with the Sweet Home School district teaching at Cascadia.

The move to Sweet Home began several years of maintaining homes there and in Eddyville. During this time Don served as vice principal of Sweet Home Junior High and then as principal of Holley and Crawfordsville grade schools. Three daughters, Kim, Kathleen and Jennifer were born during these years. When Don saw the Rice homestead on McQueen Drive he told the family that this could become the permanent Hopkins family home. In a short time the Eddyville ranch was sold and this dream was realized.

In addition to his work as principal Don also raised beef cattle, taught as an instructor for ODFW hunter safety program for several years and served on the board of the Sweet Home Fire and ambulance District for 50 years. After his early retirement from the Sweet Home School district he accepted positions around the state as interim principal/superintendent for several small school districts and taught some short term classes in administration for Eastern Oregon College and Lewis and Clark College. He also served on the boards of the Sweet Home School district, the Linn/Benton ESD, Linn Benton Community College, the Sweet Home Senior Center and the Sweet Home Library.

Don is survived by his wife of 56 years, Glenda, three daughters, Kim (Jason) Armstrong, Kathleen (Shane) Cochran and Jennifer Maynard, six grandchildren, Ashley (Brock) Cota, McKenzie (Grason) Reynolds, Kylie and Dawson Armstrong, Jessica and Justin Maynard, great-grandchildren Sophie, James and Myles Cota, Ripp and baby Reynolds on the way and Don's sister, Judy Prindel.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sweet Home Alumni Foundation designated for the Hopkins Family Scholarship. A Celebration of Life will be 11 a.m., Friday, August 11th, at Sweet Home Evangelical Church. Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.


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