Michael A. Hopkins
Michael Alan Hopkins, age 64, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, April 1, 2012, at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Washington.
Born October 24, 1947 in Seattle, Washington, he was big brother to six siblings and according to his sister always wanted to “fix it or take care of it” no matter what “it” was. Michael attended Highline High School, graduating in 1965. While there his passion was running and he held records in the 440. He attended Highline Community College, then joined the Navy. After his discharge, he moved to Ellensburg, Washington, where he met his wife of 37 years, Kathleen, whom he married on the beach before sailing off on their honeymoon.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Washington University, they moved to Seattle, where Michael first worked in what started as a hobby and became a profession—photography. Throughout the years Michael’s photography subjects varied widely, from product advertisements to portraits to weddings to landscapes and always, always those sunsets. He also worked with several artists in the Bellingham area. He was an artist in his own right, meticulous about his work and his talent will be missed by many.
Michael and Kathleen returned to Ellensburg for a short time where Michael picked up a second career in Employment Security. They eventually settled in Bellingham, Washington. Michael continued his work in Employment Security, where he met some of his lifelong friends.
Life in a community so close to the waters of Puget Sound afforded Michael the opportunity to indulge in his favorite pastime—sailing, which became a lifelong passion. No longer having to drive one hundred plus miles to sail, it took only a week before Michael was on the water racing. He never stopped, racing throughout the region, including, Seattle, the Blaine/White Rock series and his beloved Etchells sailing group.
Michael and Kathleen spent many vacations sailing throughout the area, including the San Juan Islands. As well, Michael had the opportunity to sail to Alaska, across the Gulf, with friends. It was a memory he treasured.
Michaels’ dedication to family showed in every aspect of his life. If he couldn’t be with his father during a Mariners, Seahawks, or Huskies game, they were on the phone, cheering or complaining depending on the outcome of the play. When his Dad could no longer drive, Michael would pick him up so they could watch the game together. He kept in regular touch with his siblings, as well. His devotion to Kathleen was extraordinary. As well, he embraced Kathleen’s mother as his own, calling her every Sunday morning and assisting with needs around her house.
Michael is survived by his wife, Kathleen; brother David Hopkins (Pamela); sister Susan Siren; brother Terry Hopkins; sister Jeanne Frye; sister Carol Hopkins; brother Mark Hopkins; second mom, Florence DeBruler, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, Eugene and Grace Hopkins.
In keeping with Michael’s amazing sense of humor, an informal, open-house style gathering will be held at Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 Harbor Loop, Bellingham, on Friday, April 13, 2012 from 2PM to 5PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to your favorite charity. And in particular we believe that Michael would like you all to go out and give your loved ones an extra hug today.
A friend of Michael’s said it best:
“It is more about squeezing life into your years than squeezing years into your life. Michael did that.”