William Steven Hopkins, Jr. | July 29, 1931 – May 1, 2020

It is with the deepest sadness to announce the death of Steve Hopkins on May 1, 2020, following congestive heart failure at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington. Steve was just shy of his 89th birthday, a devoted husband for over 60 years, father, and grandfather – as well as an Canadian Arctic explorer, animal lover, and avid supporter of no-kill animal shelters throughout the U.S.

Steve is a man of profound accomplishments, never to have ever mentioned them. Beginning in 1949, he enlisted in the Air Force of the United States, gaining Honorable Discharge in 1951, awarded as a testimonial of “Honest and Faithful Service.” He then enlisted in the United States Navy in 1955; in 1961 he was “Honorably Discharged from the United States Navy.

Steve was an academic in the purest form. He graduated from The University of Washington in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology. In 1962, he graduated from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. with a Degree in Master of Science. In November 1966, Steve graduated from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver B.C. with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree.

Throughout his decades, Steve proved himself in taking responsibility, and as Viktor Frankel conveys in Man’s Search For Meaning, devoting one’s self to a mission outside of one’s self, is the mission of human beings. Steve was, above all else, devoted to goals outside his self. He never spoke to anyone of his accomplishments. It’s time they were known for those long-time friends on Orcas Island.

Beginning in the 1980s, after Steve moved to Orcas Island, he became Orcas Island Port Commissioner and remained so until his death. He was also a senior member of the San Juan County Board of Equalization based in Friday Harbor until his death.

Steve leaves behind his brother, John Hopkins Ph.D. of Roswell, N.M. and sister, Sally Hopkins of Seattle; his step-daughters, Gaye Hopkins, and Candy Jackins, both Canadians, as well as six grandchildren.

Following are Steve’s last words to this world: “When words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.” – Shakespeare

According to Steve’s wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service; however, donations will be accepted with gratitude in Steve’s name to: Orcas Island Animal Shelter (no-kill shelter) and “SAVE THEM ALL” Best Friends, Kanab, Utah.

There is one more poem which was a favorite of Steve’s wife, Teri, after over 60 years of marriage to Steve.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,

To reach out for another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas, your dreams before the world, is to risk loss,

To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try at all is to risk failure.

But to risk we must,

Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The man, the woman, who risks nothing –

Does nothing,

Has nothing,

Is nothing.


Steve, my dearest friend, your hummingbirds will miss you; it will take some time for them to get used to being fed by someone else. We all love you, Steve. Rest in Peace, my beautiful friend. You have given this world your best self, and no one can ever replace you.