It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Steve Hoopes on December 3, 2023.

Steve was born on December 17, 1953, to Herbert and Bonnie Hoopes. He was the youngest of four and their only son.

Donna, Steve’s older sister, described him as very determined and a daredevil at an early age. He also developed a profound love of water when he was young.

His love of adventure and the water carried over to his teen and adult years. It was quite common for Steve to spend time with his dad and stepmom, camping, hunting and fishing. During salmon season, their plan was to catch all their salmon limits, and then freeze them. After the season was over, they picked a date to clean and smoke them. That usually took one weekend. The next weekend they canned them. The bounty would be shared with family and friends who claimed, “This is the best smoked salmon ever!” This tradition carried over when Steve married Arlene and they made many memories partnering with his parents in the fishing, smoking and canning of salmon. This kind of generosity was common for Steve. He took great pleasure in sharing what others enjoyed.

Early in life, Steve developed a strong work ethic. He worked two summers for Dick Young on his fishing boat (City of Eureka). He and his best friend, Rick Lewis, cleaned fillet lines at the Paladini Fishing Company, after school and into the evening. When he was a senior, he worked as an apprentice at Simpson Lumber Mill, as well as taking welding classes and courses on reading blueprints for metal machinery at College of the Redwoods.

After graduation from Eureka High School in 1972, he went to work for Keith Parker at Parker and Son. Steve told the story of his Dad, saying, “If you don’t go to school, you will end up digging ditches all your life!” Steve loved that story and often added, “I got my degree in Tractorology!” and then laughed. He eventually became a partner of Parker and Son and ultimately purchased the business.

Steve loved his tractors and his career. He would often say before leaving for work, “I’m off to build America.” Jim Fuller, his good friend and fellow contractor said of Steve, “He was integral in establishing new subdivisions from Fortuna to McKinleyville, reputable in the digging of underground.” He recalled one job, in which the primary water main blew at College of the Redwoods, causing a bank to wash out and the lake to completely drain. They had to put in a new outlet of 5-foot round pipe running 600 to 800 feet. The job was so big that Hilfiker Pipe Company had to pour pipe everyday to keep up with the daily demands. In 1995, Steve was instrumental in installing the radar station in Petrolia off Wildcat Road. It can be seen when driving on Highway 101 south.

Steve loved working with wood and metal. He could fix anything, as his grandchildren would say. He made wind chimes, bowls, jewelry boxes, lamp bases out of redwood burl for Arlene. He made so many, that he was always sharing them with others. He was especially proud of milling the redwood siding for their home they built together.

The stories of Steve’s willingness to help others with his trusty tractor are endless. The heartfelt experiences, interactions, his way of making one smile and feel special, the foundation poured into his children, stepchildren and grandchildren, cherished friends and extended family, are indelible marks that will never fade. Steve loved as hard as he worked.

He was the rock of our family and fondly called, “Pop.” He is greatly and forever missed. Arlene was truly the love of his life. For Arlene, their love story includes memories of dancing, road trips searching for lighthouses and always opening their home to family and friends.

The day of his passing, December 3, Steve could be found doing the thing he loved most, helping others. He spent the day on his tractor helping his good friend and neighbor Darby Mintey with a project, before returning home to barbecue for his family. When it came to helping others, Steve’s philosophy was, “it’s no big deal, ” but it was to all of us who knew him.

Preceded in death by his father, Herbert Hoopes, mother, Bonnie Hoopes and stepmother, Verladene (Deinie) Hoopes.

Survived by his loving wife, Arlene Hoopes; sons, Jeremy Hoopes (Windy), Ryan Hoopes (Julie); stepchildren, Jennifer Lester, Joshua Wendt and Larry Ford; his 15 grandchildren; sisters, Donna Shipley, Bonnie Eddie (Jim), Carol Deines (Darrell), Kitty Lyons; step sister Joy Flennikin (Clay); numerous nephews and nieces, and his sweet dog Abigail (Abby).

Memorial services will be held at the Moose Lodge in Eureka located at 4328 Campton Road at noon on April 20, 2024. Potluck, bring a favorite dish if you would like.

If love could have kept you alive, you would have lived forever!”


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Steve Hoopes’ loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.