In memory of

Dr. Elvin Joseph Hopkins

February 18, 1923 - June 4, 2015
From: Early, IA
Dr. Elvin  Joseph Hopkins

Dr. Elvin Joseph Hopkins

Born: February 18, 1923
Died: June 4, 2015
Age: 92
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   Elvin Joseph Hopkins “Doc”, age 92, of Early, IA, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Park View Rehabilitation Center in Sac City, IA.  Dr. E. J. Hopkins was born February 18, 1923, to Benjamin and Melvina (Reynolds) Hopkins in Storm Lake, IA.  Doc grew up with his family on a farm south of Sulfur Springs in Buena Vista County.  He attended Sulfur Springs High School and then continued his education at Iowa State College, where he graduated in 1944 earning the Degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  In 1945, Doc joined the United States Army and was discharged a year later, earning the rank of Sergeant.

   On October 28, 1947, Doc was united in marriage to Dolores Drey at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Early, IA. They were blessed with five children: Rebecca, Michael, Ann, Molly, and Kate.

   Doc, a retired Veterinarian, practiced in Early and the surrounding area for almost 50 years.  He was recognized through out the state as an equine specialist because of his knowledge and care of horses. 

   Doc loved his airplane, and was a licensed pilot.  He enjoyed playing and teaching guitar, calling bingo, practicing yoga, and coaching little league when his son Mike played.  He was very active within the community and was a lifelong member of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, active in the AEA, School Board, Lion’s Club, the American Legion, Commission for Women, and the Sac County Airport Association.  Doc was an avid horseman and raised horses and ponies throughout the years.  Doc and his daughters traveled statewide showing horses.  He also judged many horse shows in the area.    

   His family meant the world to him and spending time with his grandchildren brought him great joy.  He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

   Those left to cherish his memory include his children: Rebecca (Charles) Benton of Early, IA, Michael (Tam) Hopkins of The Woodlands, TX, Ann (Dan) Nurse of Kansas City, MO, Molly (Bradley) Eddie of Storm Lake, IA, and Kate (Steve) Struchen of Early, IA; sister Julia Clothier of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren: Holly (Zach) Wilson, Janet Benton (Jordan Sheridan), Jessica (John) Withrow, Michael (Mica) Hopkins, John Hopkins, Julia (Justin) Ubbenga, David Nurse, Paul Nurse, Ben Hinners, John Eddie, Sara Eddie, Brady (Lindsay) Struchen, Matt Struchen; nine great-grandchildren; special friend Barbara Broders of Schaller, IA; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members.

   Dr. E. J. Hopkins was preceded in death by his parents and wife Dolores Hopkins.

10:30 a.m.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Early, Iowa
4-7:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Early, Iowa


Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 8:57 AM
“Doc was my mentor for which I will be forever thankful. Growing up on a cattle and swine farm south of Nemaha, Doc frequented our farm to keep our animals healthy. The most vivid memories was his superior ability to identify sick cattle, rope and tie them to a fence post to treat their ailment whether it was pneumonia, foot ro, etc. Spending time with Doc led me to Iowa State to also become a veterinarian. Thanks Doc!
- Dr. Mike Davis
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 12:57 PM
“Our sympathy and prayers to Doc's family in the loss of such a kind and inspiring man. We only knew him for a few years when he took Dad under his wing and helped him through some hard days. He was the best friend for him and such positive guidance for him. He was always there to help with anything. Our family had the pleasure of getting to know Doc, also; and are saddened to hear that we can not see him at Dad's 90th birthday. He will always be in our memories as such a special person to our family. He will be missed.”
- Reg and Connie Vogel
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:30 PM
“Dear Hopkins Cousins,
Please accept heartfelt condolences at this time of loss. How proud I am to have had such a wonderful cousin as "Doc" Hopkins.
Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at the main cathedral here in Moscow, and I will let you know the exact date later.
Meanwhile, you can read something about the church if you google: Moscow Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
I hope you will find comfort in knowing he is being remembered and prayed for even so far away.
But then heaven is the same distance from every place.
Cousin Bill Hopkins”
- Bill Hopkins
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:30 PM
“What a blessing to have been allowed to have Doc in my life for a sliver of time. What an honor to have him coming to me for guitar lessons. I probably learned more from him! What an inspiration and such wisdom. Because of him, I believed in myself through his encouragement and kindness. I will always remember my friend.”
- Wendy Miller
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:29 PM
“Doc was such a special man. He was always an inspiration as he was always trying to expand his learning: taking guitar lessons in his later years, teaching himself Spanish, etc. He always cared about others. Doc and his smile will be missed.”
- Bill & Barb Rench
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:29 PM
“Doc was a very caring man. He lived a long and wonderful life and will be missed by everyone whose life he touched with his many volunteer activities. Doc will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. ”
- Sue Schmitt
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:29 PM
“Sympathy to all of you. Doc was a very special man and will be greatly missed! He was the best bingo caller we have ever had! He was always so patient and kind to everyone! Hugs and prayers!”
- Teresa Bruening
Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 2:28 PM
“My condolences to the family of Doc Hopkins. My first memories of him plying his trade was when he came to the Harold Launspach farm east of Nemaha in the 1950s to spend a morning working on pigs. After 1993 when I moved back to Nemaha and Doc was semi-retired, he was still freely giving advice to a hobby-farmer friend of mine on the care of his exotic animals. I so enjoyed seeing Doc with his guitar in later years. He lived a full life and was appreciated by all who knew him.”
- Marlys Launspach Waters
Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 2:28 PM
“To the family of Doc,

I want to extend my sympathy and share my respect I feel for your father. Doc played a pivotal part in my musical development. I took guitar lessons from him and enjoyed paying duo guitar when we would meet every Thursday evening for one hour some times more for two years when I was a 12 to 14.
Learning how to read and play notes on the guitar has helped me as a musician when learning art songs in college and pop songs when I did not have access to a piano. He is one of those men who impacted my life and I wanted you to know how much I am grateful for his part in my development. I taught myself guitar chords at that time and playing together put me as a player at a higher level. I will always be grateful for his patience and the time I had playing with him on my antique fire burst 1950's electric Holiday guitar. We both played electric guitars through his amp. I can still see him in my mind like it was yesterday. ”
- Brenda (Kowalke) Russell
Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 2:22 PM
“My prayers are with all of you in your time of sorrow. "Doc" Hopkins was a very good landlord. Bill and I thought a lot of him. I have good memories of all of you as well as your dad. 11”
- Donna Holmes
Friday, June 5, 2015 at 9:11 AM
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr.'s family at his going Home. I so enjoyed our guitar lessons together and so had hoped to have many more. Dr.'s smile and twinkle in the eyes certainly lit up a room. I will always treasure, too, our visits about music and a host of other things. God's blessings. We will be very much missed. Marilyn and Randy Schmitt”
- Marilyn and Randy Schmitt
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