PENN YAN - Kitty Hopkins passed away at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. on April 26th, 2013, as a result of complications arising from aorta aneurysm surgery.
A memorial service will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Penn Yan on Saturday (May 4th) at 1pm.
Donations in Kitty's memory may be sent to Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities at Wabash, 5133 Wabash Rd., Geneva, N.Y. 14456.
Kitty was born in Winchester, VA on April 30, 1928 and was raised on a farm north of Winchester near the hamlet of Stevenson, Va. She continued to live on the farm until her graduation from Stonewall Jackson High School. After high school she attended and graduated from Madison University with a degree in Physical Education. After graduation, she took a position as Physical Education teacher in Bethesda, Maryland. After teaching for two years, the desire to see more of the world led her to join the Navy. She went to the Naval Training School in Newport, Rhode Island and was graduated and commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy in 1952. Her first duty assignment was as a communications officer at the Federal building in San Francisco. It was at this assignment the she met her husband-to-be, Dave, who was on temporary duty stationed at the Treasure Island Naval School while he was attending classes before rejoining his ship in the Western Pacific. At the end of Dave's schooling and before he left for the Pacific, Kitty and Dave eloped and were married in the Episcopal Church in San Francisco on January 22, 1954. Before Dave returned to the U.S., Kitty decided to resign her commission and move to San Diego, which was the homeport of Dave's Ship. While in San Diego, she applied for and received substitute school teaching jobs in physical education. During the summer of 1955, Dave was reassigned to a ship based in Norfolk, Va. After moving East, she again applied for and received substitute opportunities in teaching physical education. In the summer of 1957, Dave's term of naval service had been met and he transferred to the Naval Reserve. He applied for and received a position at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, N.Y. So, yet again, Kitty and Dave made another move, this time to Rochester. For the third time, Kitty again applied for and received yet another substitute teaching position in the Rochester school system. After working at Kodak for 13 years, Dave decided to leave Kodak and to go into business by himself. Hence, Kitty and Dave became owners and operators of the Penn Yan Marine in Penn Yan, N.Y. While in Penn Yan, Kitty applied for and received a permanent position at Penn Yan Academy as Girl's Physical Education Instructor and also Girls Field Hockey coach. Since field hockey was the sport that she played in college she was delighted to have been offered the position. She had a wonderful rapport with the girls and was, indeed, like a mother away from home. Her nickname was "MA." Her associated physical education job was to be the advisor and chaperon for the school ski club when they traveled to Bristol Mountain. It was in this position that she learned to ski, She retained her physical education position for 25 years before retiring from teaching. Even up to today, she was delighted to occasionally run into the girls in the community that she had the wonderful opportunity to have been their instructor and friend. Another field that Kitty was an expert in was the field of antiques. She was constantly reading about and collecting antiques, especially glassware. She often frequented auctions to build her collection and to meet other collectors. She became so knowledgeable in the field that she was often sought out by friends, other collectors and acquaintances for her advice and recommendations. Her daughter-in-law, Marsha, wrote what is probably the most accurate description of Kitty. She quotes, "You were stubborn, opinionated but always loving - and you were always truthful - for that we love you" and Dave, her loving husband of nearly 60 years adds. "I will always miss you and will always love you."
Kitty is survived by her sons and their spouses, Bryan (Beth Ellen) of North Andover, Mass.; and Keith (Marsha) of Pittsfield, Vt., and her wonderful grandsons; Travis, Christopher, Harlan and Gabe.
She was predeceased by her son, Kyle, and daughter, Brenda.
Friends and family may sign the guestbook at www.townsendwoodfuneral chapel.com.