Clarence Cowles HOPKIRK & Myrtle CHURCH

Clarence Cowles HOPKIRK was the son of William Hume HOPKIRK and Marietta COWLES

Clarence C. HOPKIRK was born in Agency, Iowa on 29 November 1885.

Clarence married Myrtle CHURCH on 18 May 1912 in Duriel, Minnesota.

Clarence passed away in 1954.

Clarence and Myrtle had two daughters:

     Corinne HOPKIRK, born 28 February 1913. Corinne had two daughters, both still living.
          Corinne passed away in 1969.

     Living HOPKIRK daughter

A Biography of My Father, Clarence Cowles Hopkirk
By Marilyn Hopkirk Koontz

Somis, California March 15, 2003

Clarence was born into a Christian family in Agency, Iowa on November 28, 1885. His father was a principal of one of the local schools. He had high ideals and trained Clarence in the Lord's way as best he could. His mother was also a Christian. Clarence had two brothers, Howard and Rollin. He went to Iowa State University and then to Northwestern Medical School. Clarence predeceased both of his brothers at 68 years of age.

After serving as a radiologist for the Rock Island Railroad for several years, Clarence became a missionary for the Presbyterian Church in Seoul, Korea, for three years. Once of his special interests was working with lepers. He learned about the needs of lepers from the Bible. He worked as the chief radiologist at Severence Hospital in Seoul, Korea.

My mother and sister were with him during his missionary work. My sister Corinne, went to school in Seoul and my mother taught boys and girls how to play the piano. This was 1920 - 1923. They stayed in a hotel in Tokyo while waiting for a ship to tape them to Europe. Their first night there, a very large earthquake struck Tokyo. The earth opened up and swallowed whoever fell into the cracks. My father helped as many people as he could! There are pictures in the den in a box with the date that show quite vividly the scenes of the catastrophe. After helping to clean up the affected area, the family got on a cruiser and headed to Europe.

The family made several stops at various ports and then enjoyed the historical scenery of Egypt, Spain, Italy, and Germany. My father was asked to be an instructor in Belgium, but with the family, he decided that he could not manage to take on another job.

They headed for home and decided to locate in Santa Monica, California where Dad established himself as a radiologist in downtown Los Angeles. After a short while he opened an office in Beverly Hills and then one in Santa Monica, where I was born on September 8, 1929.

After World War II began, fall of 1942, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, my Dad was asked to join a group of men serving the community as reserve officers. He had blackout lights mounted in front and back of his car. The light emitted was soft and did not shine brightly. I found these lights to be scary. My mother and I took the cruising ship back home that had brought us to the islands. My dad met us at the dock in San Pedro where the Lurline put in.

My Dad was chief radiologist at Santa Monica Hospital and then, in the forties, helped raise funds for the building of Saint John's Hospital where he was once more in charge of the radiology department. Three offices and two hospitals depended on his services.

Dad helped finance the building of the Brentwood Presbyterian Church. Dad enjoyed working with people, besides treating their physical problems. He became a member of the Santa Monica Rotary Club as well as physicians groups. He helped out with the programs put on by the Y.M.C.A., with church groups at the Santa Monica and Brentwood Presbyterian Churches, and with medical clinics.

He had a succession of strokes after he turned sixty years old. He retired two years before passing away. One stroke took him at sixty eight. He predeceased my mother by two years.

I still miss him very much; he was a loving parent!

God bless all who read this biography of my Dad's life!

Clarence Cowles HOPKIRK, 1885-1954

Clarence and Myrtle's younger daughter.

Article from the March 1941 issue of Nortwestern University Alumni News concerning Clarence Hopkirk

This page was last updated on February 18, 2008