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Every day is Valentines Day for Ripon couple
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Passionate about initiating and completing the restoration of the Ripon High School stadium, Vince and Stephanie Hobbs are truly a happily married couple who have worked together on a number of projects since they were married nearly 25 years ago. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Cupid hit his mark 25 years ago with Vince and Stephanie Hobbs, a couple connected by heart and soul with a twinkle in their eyes.

Valentine’s Day is special for the Hobbs, obvious by the way they look at each other even today. Their actions demonstrate the goodness in the world by going the extra mile for the Ripon community

A Hayward Fire Department ladder truck captain, Vince put his feelings in perfect perspective Tuesday.

“Being with this lovely bride,” he said, “everyday is Valentine’s Day.”

The holiday, like others, has to be manipulated on the calendar for the couple to be together with his shift work. Vince will spend the day with six firefighters at his station, but not before taking Stephanie out for a quiet dinner on Wednesday.

“He’s the hardest working,  most consistent man I know,” she said. “He has good looks and is ruggedly handsome.”

“He’s funny. I am not like him. I wish I could be more like him.  He’s an awesome leader. He leads our home and our family and it’s easy to follow him.”

The two find strength in their faith.

Stephanie said she gave her husband a gift on their wedding day – a large Hobbs’ family Bible with the added engraving that reads, “Established 1989.”

That Bible has been the foundation of their family, she stressed. Their faith helped them through the loss of 16-month-old son, Matthew who drowned. 

The Hobbs have three other children: Emily, 21, and her son Brayden; Luke, 20; and Tim, 16, a current student at Ripon High.

It was shortly after they were married in May of 1989 that they built a ranch house in Ripon.  Friends and family cautioned that it could bring about an early divorce, but together they finished the project.

She explained that what is important to her is not as important to him and vice versa.  That was the basis for their team work on their first house, she said laughing. They didn’t get in each other’s way.

Stephanie worked for about a year at San Joaquin College in Salida, but gave that up when she realized she was needed at home and in the Ripon community.

The Ripon couple has worked tirelessly on their momentous pet project,  vowing to see the Ripon High School stadium restored for the students. 

Stephanie started on the administrative work for the stadium some six years ago and Vince involved himself with organizing Rina’s Run that would bring in the initial funds to underwrite the launching of the stadium project.

Together they estimate that they’ve spent thousands of hours on the project over the six years.

Often times, during construction phases, Vince would leave the fire station, change into work clothes and head down to the stadium.

Stephanie would meet him there with dinner.

 “When you consider what the school board has turned over to us, it’s humbling,” Vince said. “But it’s all worth it when you see the expressions on the kids’ faces. It’s awesome.”