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Joan Whittington Hopkins passed away quietly on Friday, December 2, 2022, at Calvary Hospital, after being surrounded by members of her loving family for a week. She was 87.
A long time resident of Mount Vernon and Pelham, New York, Joan was born in the Bronx in 1935, the second of two girls born to Margaret Mary (Timmons) and Harry Eugene Whittington. A child of the depression and World War II, Joan grew up with significant hardships. The time she had with her mother was short, as she passed away when Joan was only 8 years old, after spending 5 of those years in a Tuberculosis sanatorium. Joan’s father was a New York City Police Officer, and spent some time in Iceland after World War II training foreign officers. Joan was primarily raised by her grandmother Jenny Blair.
Joan was in the first class of St. Helena’s High School for Girls in 1949, where she made lifelong friends, who gathered to celebrate reunions together well into their 80s.
It was Joan’s dream since she was a little girl to be married on June 16, her late mother’s birthday. She did just that in 1956, marrying John Joseph (Jack) Hopkins, also of the Bronx. Jack and Joan went on to have seven children, while living in Queens, Brentwood and Mt Vernon, New York.
In addition to raising her own seven children, after her sister Marilyn Faivre’s sudden death at 32, Joan helped her brother-in-law Gene raise their three young children.
Joan was a devout Catholic, dedicating a significant amount of her time to running the CCD program at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Mount Vernon for nearly 30 years.
Family was everything for Joan. On Sundays after Mass, she could be found in the kitchen preparing Sunday dinner for her loved ones. Some Sundays, as many as 35 gathered around her table. Grandma Joan was famous for her chocolate roll and orange sheet cake, and her distaste for green vegetables was well known. Thanksgiving was Joan’s holiday. Despite her failing health, this Thanksgiving she worked with her sons making gravy and her signature stuffing.
She is predeceased by her husband Jack, her son Robert, and her granddaughter, Courtney. She is survived by her daughter Margaret Burns (John) of Pelham, and sons Richard (Claudia) of Skillman, NJ, James (Daria) of Yonkers, Edward (Amy) of Hampton, NH, William (Denise) of Pelham, and Gene (Meghan) of Norwalk, CT, her daughter in law Una (Robert) of New Rochelle, 20 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews in the Faivre, Kelly, Schwarz, and Whittington families.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Avenue, Pelham, New York. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, December 9, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 559 Pelham Manor Rd, Pelham, New York. Burial to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations are made to Calvary Hospital or Catholic Charities of New York in honor of Joan.
Thursday, December 8, 2022
4:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
Pelham Funeral Home
Friday, December 9, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
Friday, December 9, 2022
Starts at 11:45am (Eastern time)
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
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