Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Brett Hopkins, CEO of Ken Garff Automotive , said Garff was a mentor to him. He said the team at Garff Automotive spent the day absorbing the sad news and remembering Garff as a visionary leader who grew the company after it was founded by his father, Ken Garff.
"There were a lot of tears today," he said. Hopkins said he also remembered his boss as a man who was warm, funny, and enjoyed connecting with all of his workers. He was a man who appreciated the opportunity his father gave him, so he wanted to help others. His foundation contributed dollars to higher education and efforts to improve children's literacy.
"He wanted to create opportunities that others could take advantage of to bless their lives," he said. Hopkins said Garff and his wife, Kathi, were at their home in Palm Springs, Calif. when they first showed symptoms of COVID-19.
Their family made arrangements to get them back to Utah, where they were tested. Both tested positive, but while Kathy recovered, Robert did not, and spent about nine days in the hospital, where he died. Hopkins said losing someone he deeply cares about to COVID-19 is difficult. "It makes it real. You never know how it might impact our lives," he said.
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