Martha ran with the angels into the arms of the “Master Coach”, Jesus Christ, in Nampa, ID on June 26th, 2019. She has run the course and finished the race. Martha is now entering the championship game in heaven. God gave her many talents as an athlete. She began her career in the 4th grade playing on a boys’ basketball team in Bay City, Oregon and finished 65 years later by defeating every female and male student in her badminton class that she taught at NNC. She was an outstanding competitor, never settling for second place. She expected the same performance from her students and athletes. Martha loved NNC and contributed wherever she was needed. Martha never married. She said if she married, she would not have the time to give to her athletes and she had a calling to try and help direct them to follow Jesus.
Martha was born on March 21, 1938 in Astoria, Oregon near the beginning of World War II. She was the fifth and last child of Willie (Bill) and Della Solmon Hopkins. As a young child the family moved from Jewell, Oregon to Cloverdale, Oregon. Her first three school years she attended a one room school called Union. The family moved to Nampa, ID in 1950 so that the Hopkins children could attend NNC and College High School (presently Nampa Christian High). Martha graduated from College High in 1956 and NNC in 1959, upon which she entered the teaching profession. Her teaching career lasted for 41 years and included teaching in Oregon, Indiana, Oklahoma and 34 years at Northwest Nazarene College/Northwest Nazarene University. She taught at all four levels; Elementary, Junior High, High School and finally University.
While at NNU she served in many positions and experiences. She earned her master’s degree from Indiana University in 1961 and her Doctorate Degree from University of Idaho in 1971. Martha was a Professor in Kinesiology. She received many awards and recognition for accomplishments in her professional endeavors. She had the responsibility in developing the most of the entire Women’s Sports Program at NNC. The greatest honor received from the NNU Board of trustees came in 2004 when the Johnson Sports Center fitness room was named in honor of her. (Martha J. Hopkins Fitness Center)
Martha enjoyed her Sunday School Class and Women’s Bible study plus other contributions for the church. These were very important to her way of life. She loved God and followed His direction for her life. She was firmly committed to being directed by God. Her third honor was the confidence that the NNU Trustees showed in her by voting to make her Faculty Emeriti status when she retired in 2000. She cared for her mom at her home in Nampa until her mom passed away in 2003.
In the fall of 2014, Nampa Christian Schools honored her for her contribution in developing the softball complex by naming it Martha Hopkins Field. A scholarship is in the process of being established at Nampa Christian High School so that more students will be helped financially to attend college.
Her quick humor and laughter were constantly a part of her. An example is shown in the following comment by Martha. “I want all female pallbearers at my funeral. The men wouldn’t take me out when I was alive so they are not taking me out when I’m dead.” After retirement, May 2000, she did volunteer work at Kohlerlawn cemetery, working with Ticona Winkler developing a website and data entry plus research for over 800 Veterans buried there. She also volunteered at Love Inc. doing whatever was needed.
Martha moved in with Ron and Joann Williams in Nampa in October, 2015 after a short stay at an assisted living care center. She continued to participate in as many activities as she could including Friday Night Card Parties with church friends and yearly trips with her closest women friends for a retreat to McCall and the Oregon Coast.
Martha is preceded in death by her parents, Willie L. and Della May (Solmon) Hopkins, Willie L. is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Tillamook, Oregon. Della is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Caldwell, ID. One brother, Lorenzo A. Hopkins is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery as is a sister LaNona D. Zillig. One brother, Glenn Eldwin Hopkins, is buried at Muellers cemetery in Kennewick, WA. She is survived by one brother, Leanold Calvin Hopkins, Arlington, TX.
The family would like to thank all of those who helped take care of Martha. She cherished all the visits of friends who came to see her both at home and at the hospital. A special thanks to care givers Margie, Michelle, and “Doctors Hospice” and especially her nurse, “Vonnette”. Appreciation is also extended to Dr. Moon, Dr. Wu and a very special thanks to St. Luke’s nurse “Kim.” The Hopkins Family.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Martha Hopkins Women’s Athletic Scholarship Fund at Northwest Nazarene University, 623 So. University Blvd., Nampa, ID 83686.
A Celebration of Martha’s Life will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the College Church of the Nazarene, 504 E. Dewey Ave. in Nampa. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – 208-442-8171. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com