Ted was born to Theodore “Ted” Z. Hopfenbeck and Alice E. Bruneau Hopfenbeck at home on the edge of the Colorado River outside Blythe, CA, where his dad was water master for the Palo Verde Valley Irrigation District. He spent his early years in Blythe, where he said he had a great few years swimming in the Colorado River and irrigation canals, shoes off in April and back on in October, hunting rabbits, dove and quail and other carefree activities. His parents later divorced.
In 1938, Ted and his mother moved to San Diego, CA, to live with his grandparents. There, he attended St. Didacus Elementary and graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1946. He then attended San Diego State College. He finished 3 1/2 years in mechanical engineering before the Korean War began.
In July 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was posted to Germany with an F-84 Fighter Squadron. Upon return to the U.S., he was assigned to a B-47 bomber wing in California until the end of his enlistment in 1954.
Ted married Virginia Meis in May 1951, and they had six wonderful children together: Karen, Janice, Lynn, Paul, Curtis, and Mark. They later divorced.
In 1954, he went back to San Diego State for one year and then to the University of Arizona in Tucson. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in Geological Engineering. After a short period in the Peruvian Andes with Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation, he was employed by Pan American Petroleum as an exploration geophysicist in Farmington, NM, and Midland, TX.
Ted eventually resigned and returned to the University of Arizona for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education. While doing this, he became a Tucson police officer so that he could work nights and go to school during the day. He eventually was assigned to the police academy with responsibility for both his department’s recruits and the Southwest Tribal Indian Academy.
In 1967, Ted accepted a position with Boise College to assist with starting a criminal justice program and remained with the University for over 49 years. While teaching his classes, he was also director of the criminal justice program, director of Canadian Studies, director of Idaho Region II Law Enforcement Planning Commission, and for 10 years, traveled statewide in the summer collecting data on child sexual abuse cases for the Idaho Attorney General and Legislature.
In 1976, he married Linda Larsen. They had one child, Nathan, and a wonderful, loving time together, including camping and hiking at Yellowstone National Park almost every year for 40 years.
Ted is survived by his wife Linda; children Karen (Michael) Burin, Janice (John McDonagh) Hopfenbeck, Lynn (Michael) Demerse, Paul Hopfenbeck, Curtis (Natalie) Hopfenbeck, Mark (Therese) Hopfenbeck, and Nathan (Carrie) Hopfenbeck; sister Paula Compton, 17 grandchildren; and a great-grandson. He is preceded in death by his parents and many beloved family members.
The family want to give a special thank you to the hospice nurses and other staff from St. Luke’s Hospice for their care and concern for Ted while he was in hospice care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ted Hopfenbeck Criminal Justice Scholarship, Boise State University Foundation, 1910 University Drive, Boise 83725, the Salvation Army, the Idaho Food Bank, or favorite charity.
Following cremation, a brief graveside service will be held on August 20, 2022, 10:30am, at Dry Creek Cemetery for family and close friends.