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Obituary: Hopkins, Barbara Ann (Baker)

Age 93

HOPKINS, Barbara Ann (Baker) (Age 93) Barbara Ann (Baker) Hopkins passed away suddenly and peacefully at 93 years old on May 18, 2013, at Northern Montana Care Center in Havre, MT.   She was born on Feb 6 1920, to Verne & Tom Baker, the fourth of five children in Lewistown, MT, where she graduated from high school. Barbie lived in Lewistown, MT until she met and married Ralph Hopkins in 1942.  After WWII, Barbie, Ralph and their son Tom moved from Portland, OR, to Havre where Ralph went into the electrical business. Barb & Ralph soon added two girls to the family, Sue Marie and Marianne. Her Havre years were joyous and productive; she worked for 15 years as the first Welcome Wagon Hostess, and raised three children who were all active in multiple school and Church activities. In 1967, Barbie and Ralph moved to Lake Orion, MI, where they made many wonderful friends in the area and took in all that Michigan had to offer.      When Ralph retired in 1978, they came back to the west to be closer to family and settled in Spokane, WA, near their son and grandchildren.  While in Spokane, she heard many stories of “non-traditional” college students which inspired her to enter college in her retirement! By the spring of 1983, at age 62, she had earned an A.A.S. Degree in Gerontology from SFCC. She then worked for Catholic Charities, and was active in St. Peter’s Parish and with Southside Newcomers Club. Eventually Barbie & Ralph decided to try out a warmer, dry climate and moved to Tucson, AZ where they enjoyed ten wonderful years near many more family and friends. When Ralph’s health began to fail, they decided to return to their roots in Havre, which they still regarded as “home.” For well over 40 years, she has been known to all as “HAPPY,” named by a grandson. Because it so suited her personality, it stuck with her for life. She was a constantly upbeat and cheerful person who fearlessly embraced challenges, changes, new places and new people. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Hopkins; her brother, and all three of her sisters. She is survived by her children, Tom (Cathy) Hopkins of Spokane, Sue (Jerry) Miller of Hunstville, AL, and Marianne (Brett) Hamilton of Havre, as well as all 19 of her grand and great-grandchildren. Her memory will always bring much joy and inspiration to all who knew her. A memorial mass will take place on Thurs. May 24 in Havre, MT. Memorial donations may be made to SOUL TO SOLES, ( a small local Spokane Charity that provides new shoes to deserving pre-school children. ) PO Box 3021, Spokane, WA 99223.