Robert “Bob” Chester Hopkins passed away on October 8th, 2019, he was 76 years old. He was born on October 7th, 1943 in Broadus, MT to Hubert and Phyllis (Taylor) Hopkins. He is survived by his daughters Tammera (Jeff) Callahan, Rhonda (Chris) Steffen, two grandchildren, Tesla & Eddie Stone. His brothers, Hillier & Darrell and three sisters, Joni, Lynn & Lori. He was proceeded in death by his mother Phyllis, his father Hubert and his Mom Evelyn, his wife Mildred, his youngest daughter Diana and his sister Kaye.
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While growing up in Powder River County, he attended elementary and high school in Broadus. Hillie remembers the fun they had growing up together. He had several summer jobs working on local ranches, enjoying time spent in the country. When he was 17, he enlisted in the Navy. While stationed in San Diego he met and married Millie and started a family. They spent 29 years together.
Tammera wrote: My Dad wanted a son but had 3 daughters. If he was disappointed, we never knew or felt it. In fact, one of things I credit my Dad most with was instilling in me the belief I could do or be anything. I have no idea if my parents ever had any discussions about this as a couple, and how they would parent, but I did not grow up in a house where girls were made to feel there were things they could not do or accomplish because of their gender. My Dad was very supportive, and he liked to be involved when he was in between fishing trips. He would spend hours playing catch with me to prepare for an upcoming softball season, running lines for a school play, and helping with homework. He was especially adept with math and history. He was an avid reader and amassed quite the collection of Louis L ‘Amour books. And for 5 glorious seasons in the 80's we had season tickets for “The Chargers”. Just he and I. That one on one time with the sport and team we shared a deep love for was as quality as it gets. He was also an expert Chicken Dancer as witnessed at my wedding, a special day for us. These were some of my favourite childhood memories of my Dad.
He was never really content living in San Diego or tuna fishing. He always talked about missing "the seasons" and moving back to Montana. The happiest I saw my Dad was on our road trips to visit his family in Montana during summer or winter breaks. I think that was a big part of why I looked forward to those trips so much myself. Tuna fishing would take him away, sometimes for months, so my parents lived such separate lives, rarely going out together. My sisters and I would often comment those trips were some of the few times we felt like a real family. My Dad and I shared an appreciation for the outdoors and on those trips to Montana we would just take it all in, often making stops along the way for family photo ops. He absolutely loved his time home with family, and I know he wished we could visit more often.
He did eventually make his way back to Montana and visited his family often, enjoying every minute spent with his Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters and even a few friends from childhood. He lived in Ashland for a few years where he met Barb Stein, she became his companion and his partner for several years, he held dear the time spent with her in her country home. He moved to Billings after he became ill, where he later passed away. During his long illness he had a frequent visitor, Donnie Hurley, we will be eternally grateful to you for keeping him company.
He was our brother, friend and father and he is missed. He watched the seasons come and go. May peace be with you Bob.