Cover photo for Gustav Hopkins's Obituary
Gustav Hopkins Profile Photo
1932 Gustav 2023

Gustav Hopkins

January 27, 1932 — October 22, 2023

On Sunday, October 22, 2023, Albuquerque resident Gustav Arthur (Art) Hopkins passed away from natural causes at the age of 91. Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on January 27, 1932, he was known for a career in both art and music, specializing in the violin and the viola. He grew up in the Newport Beach, CA, area and was the oldest of three brothers. He was educated at Long Beach State University in Southern California and the Belles Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, reaching a master's degree in art and earning teaching credentials in California.

At Long Beach State University, he would meet fellow student Elsa Richter whom he married and with whom he had two sons. In the 1950s and 1960s, he taught art and music at Cerritos College in Southern California and then (in 1968) moved to Vista, California, in North San Diego County where he continued his art and music. While living in Vista, he conducted a local civic orchestra and conducted music in the local musical theater including performances of Wizard of Oz, Pirates of Penzance, and Annie Get Your Gun. He also owned a local art gallery in Vista and was involved with several art festivals within North San Diego County. During the 1970s and 1980s, he became a prominent real estate developer in North San Diego County, working in both private and commercial properties.

He remarried in the 1990s to Junko Okabe (an artist originally born in Japan, who specialized in ceramic art) and they moved to Valley Center, California. From there they would move to Santa Fe, and El Dorado, New Mexico, where they were active in the Santa Fe art community. They eventually settled in Albuquerque, where Art and Junko continued to be involved with the local art and music scene. Throughout their time in New Mexico, they traveled to Japan quite often and became well known in Osaka and Tokyo art circles for their gallery showings, television interviews, and the popularity of their artwork. Art continued his involvement in the local music scene throughout his 80s by inviting string musicians to play chamber music with him at his Albuquerque home.

He will be remembered as a self-made man who held strong convictions, who was eager to explore the mediums, styles, and genres of both painting and sculpture, who explored the world through travel, and as a man who loved a bargain, an afternoon drink, long conversations, and a good party. He will be missed.

He is survived by his two sons, Christopher Hopkins and his wife, Sandra Norvell, and Lawrence Hopkins and his wife, Dora; his three grandchildren, Christine Bell, Kathleen Hopkins, and Sarah Norvell; and four great-grandchildren, Hana, Aaron, and Rheia Nam and Persephone Bell; his brother, Ron Carlton; his nieces and nephews; and the rest of his family and friends. Please visit our online guestbook for Art at

FRENCH - Westside 9300 Golf Course Rd NW - 505-897-0300



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