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1939 Elizabeth 2021

Elizabeth Hopkins

September 26, 1939 — September 23, 2021

Elizabeth “Betty” Pease Hopkins, age 81, died at home with her family by her side on September 23, 2021. She was born on September 26, 1939 to the late Francis B. and Elizabeth C. Pease.

It is with a heavy heart that we share with you the passing of Betty Hopkins.  Born on September 26, 1939 in Houston, TX, Betty grew up in Windsor CT, where she attended The Chaffee school for girls, which eventually became Loomis Chaffee college preparatory school.  It was while at Chaffee that she met a young man, Phil, who would not only fill up her dance cards but eventually became her soul-mate of 62 years.  Betty and Phil raised a family together, traveled and explored many places together and were by each other’s sides through all of life’s ups and downs.  Putting everyone else’s priorities ahead of her own, it was not until she was in her 40’s that Betty returned to school to complete her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut.

A consummate creative, Betty held many different jobs ranging from a travel agent booking exciting trips for her clients (who became friends) to explore the world; to a teacher’s assistant where she taught the students blackjack to accelerate their math skills, to being a real estate office manager where she went above and beyond for new homebuyers by sharing funny stories about home ownership to dispel their nerves.  As she would tell you, none of her jobs were as fulfilling as her full-time job of raising her three children.

She spent countless hours supporting her kids – whether it was helping her eldest daughter with her craft projects or guitar lessons, encouraging her son as he built or rebuilt model planes, pinewood derby cars or any other contraption he was motivated to build and the youngest play in years of field hockey games, in snow, rain or high humidity.  She was always there.  She was known for being there to lend an ear, share advice, listen intently and share her support, all with unconditional love.  In fact, her love of her family life was so deep she decided to write an article in the Granby Drummer newspaper for eleven years, titled “Hop’s House.”  The column told tales of everyday life raising three kids – Erma Bombeck style.  Her humor was artfully infused into the family and the community – allowing everyone to see the human side of parenting and the joys of growing up in a small town.

It was this lifelong passion for learning that also propelled her into a leadership role with DILR (Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement), now OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at Duke University.  In 2009, the university awarded both Betty and Phil, The Bill Wright Award for Distinguished Leadership at OLLI.  Betty served and participated in OLLI for over twenty years.

In the Hopkins family, she was seen as the matriarch, the event organizer and a master of “one-liner” wit.  She is survived by her husband, Philip B. Hopkins Jr.; her son Philip B. Hopkins III and daughter-in-law Lori Hopkins, of Windsor CT; her daughter, Pamela P. Hopkins and daughter-in-law DeeDee Bollong of Oakland CA; and two brothers – James Pease of Durham NC and Francis B. Pease of Shawnee Mission, KS.  The light of Betty’s eye will always be her five grand-children - Philip DelTatto of Jacksonville FL, Rebecca Hopkins of Hartford CT, Alyssa Rosenbluth of Vernon CT, Tim Hopkins of Woodstock GA and Luci Hopkins-Nickel of Oakland CA and her one great-grandchild – Paige Rosenbluth. Betty was preceded in death by her daughter Carol Hopkins Brusa.  

Per Betty’s request, no services will be held and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the program that meant so much to her, Duke’s OLLI – Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  Please make checks out to “Duke University” with OLLI at Duke on the memo line and in memory of Betty Hopkins.  Additional details can be found at: 

A memorial bench will be installed in the town of Beaufort on the Carolina coast – a place that brought Betty so many joyous moments.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Hopkins, please visit our flower store.


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