Herman "Herm" Hoops

Herman Hoops passed away on Nov. 23, 2020, after a long fight against those who would despoil the rivers of the Colorado Plateau. It is thought that he died of a broken heart for not being able to do more. The rivers have been good to him and, perhaps, he has been good to them. Now Herm has headed out to row the Milky Way and run rapids light-years across.

Herm was the quintessential hippie, surrounding himself with friends and memories rather than money or special treatment. He was the beloved husband of Valerie Peltier Hoops for twenty-five years. Their love was a forever love that transcends time and space. Together, they experienced living in their “storybook” marriage.

Herm’s sister and children (and their partners) were among his closest friends in life: Brenda Hoops Rouse of Baltimore, Maryland; H. Hatteras and Sheila of Stuttgart, Germany; and Gillian Echo Elisabeth and Dan Boutin of Glover, Vermont, will profoundly miss him. Hatt and Gill traveled long and far through life’s journey, gifting “Opa” with five grandchildren: Zachary D. Boutin, Alexander C. Boutin, Nicholas H. Hoops, Saoirse G. Hoops and Jacqueline R. Boutin. Herm’s first wife, Lorilei (Damon) Hoops, passed away in 2005.

Herm Hoops’ life has always been associated with water, from bucolic farm ponds and awe-inspiring rivers to the endless ocean, and he always had an interest in history. He was the son of farmers and grew up on a large dairy cattle and Morgan horse farm along with his younger sister, Brenda, where they were loved and learned to work hard. After attending the University of Vermont, he taught vocational agriculture and forestry in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and for a winter season lived in a tent in the bitter cold. He built a log cabin by hand and he loved to travel. Herm worked for the National Park Service at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains national parks, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rocky Mountain Regional Office and Dinosaur National Monument. He also worked for Pea Island and Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuges.

Herm was an awardee, participant, member or inductee to numerous organizations. He was a lifetime member and served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Plateau River Guides; he served on the Board of Directors for Plateau Restoration; he was an honorary lifetime member of the Utah Guides and Outfitters, and a lifetime member of Grand Canyon River Guides; he won the 2018 River Management Society Member Award for Lifetime Contribution to River Management; and in 2019 he was inducted into the John Wesley Powell Museum Rover Runners Hall of Fame.

Herm is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, sister, and his cousin, Dorothy Steneck, along with many wonderful friends. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Genevieve E. and Herman R. Hoops Sr.

Funeral services for Herm will be held Friday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home (410 N. 800 West, Vernal). A viewing for family and friends will be held from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Services will be live-streamed at https://vimeo.com/483267521.

Online condolences may be shared at www.ashleyvalleyfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like you to consider donating to one of the following organizations in Herm’s name: the River Management Society (https://www.river-management.org/donate) or the American Battlefield Trust (https://www.battlefields.org/help-save-battlefields).