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Mary Hughes-Hoppe  

Mary Hughes-Hoppe

April 3, 1950 – November 9, 2016

 

Mary Hughes-Hoppe, age 66, of Newark, DE, passed away unexpectedly at her home Wednesday, November 9, 2016.

Born in Wausau, WI on April 3, 1950, she was the daughter of the late Miles T. and Althea M. (MacCormick) Hughes.

She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Michael A. Hoppe; children, Bridget A. Carter (Henry Grady IV) and Benjamin A. Hoppe; brother, Ronald Hughes (Pat Tyberg); sisters, Eileen Hughes, Jean Hughes (Raymond Foster), Maureen Hughes and Barbara Hughes; sister-in-law, Karen Hughes; brothers-in-law, Herbert Hoppe (Carolyn) and Warren Hoppe (Donna Ralston);grandchildren, Maire, Logan, James and Calli; and many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her brother, Michael and sisters-in-law, Lee Ann Hughes and Linda Kubinski.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1973. In 1970, Mary and Michael had several classes together. Since seating was alphabetical in their Correctional Administration class, Michael was assigned to the seat next to Mary. Michael thought she was the most beautiful girl there and wanted to meet her. Although he knew exactly where the UW Student Health building was, to have a reason to talk to her, he asked Mary for directions to it. She gave him the directions he “needed” that day, and again, whenever he really needed them, throughout the 38 years of their marriage–a marriage filled with much love and laughter.

After finishing school, Mary moved to Racine, WI. to work with teenage girls in a group home environment in the County Correctional System. She moved to Houston, TX in 1977 where Michael was already working for DuPont. Mary and Michael married in 1978. She worked with special needs children at Easter Seals in Houston then with the Drafting Department at Conoco Oil before the birth of her children, Bridget and Benjamin.  She devoted the rest of her life to her two children. She loved Bridget and Benjamin deeply and was immensely proud of all of their accomplishments.  Later, her devotion expanded to include the four “most beautiful, smartest, and amazing grandchildren on the planet.” We know her children and grandchildren fit these descriptions because she told us they did every chance she could!

Mary and Michael moved to Delaware in 1984 and to Newark in 2001. Throughout their stay in Delaware, they have been blessed to live in neighborhoods filled with friendly, kind, and caring people.

It’s not easy to describe Mary, but she was one-of-a-kind and a force to be reckoned with throughout her lifetime. She was strongly opinionated and more than willing to share her opinions with you. Was colorful language ever involved? Yes! Was she stubborn? Absolutely! Mary was fiercely protective of her children and grandchildren. She was an advocate for others especially those who are not able to speak for themselves. She wanted to tackle life’s challenges head on. She gently (and sometimes not so gently) reminded us to “Happy up” whenever we were feeling down or discouraged. Mary was the Chairman of the Entertainment Committee. She could make anything fun like making paper airplanes and flying them in the waiting room while waiting with her children or grandchildren to be seen by the doctor. She taught us all the importance of Emergency Airport Food.  She was “technologically challenged” but that didn’t faze her, because she had her grandchildren!  With Ben’s help and after many trips to Disney World, Mary earned her PhD in Disney. She walked thousands of miles in their neighborhood and around the city, either by herself or with Michael and Benjamin in his wheelchair. On their walks together, Ben would wave to everyone, and the family would greet and visit with their many neighborhood friends. Mary also enjoyed walking on beaches and boardwalks with Michael and Ben on many of their trips.

She loved to read, and read hundreds of books. She was an ardent WI Badger and UD Soccer fan. She was a satellite Green Bay Packer fan and satellite coach — via telephone, she critiqued each play in real time with her family in Wisconsin. Recently she and Michael developed an interest in the Civil War, and visited many of the battle sites of that conflict.

As Mary wished, there will not be a formal service. Instead, celebrations of her life will be held at a later date in Newark and in Wisconsin.

She treasured the value of education for her own children, grandchildren and others. So please, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider the following organizations dear to Mary’s heart:

Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens (DFRC), 640 Plaza Dr., Newark, DE  19702, St. Mark’s High School, 2501 Pike Creek Rd, Wilmington DE 19808, Holy Angels School, 82 Possum Park Rd., Newark, DE 19711 or Newark Charter Primary School, 2001 Patriot Way, Newark DE 19711.

Mary was the best wife, Mom, Nan, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend you could ever want to have.  All of us who loved Mary will hold her memory in our hearts forever.  We know her spirit, love and warmth will forever be with all of us.

As we struggle to deal with our loss, we are trying our best to “Happy up.”  We know it’s what Mary would want us all to do.

 

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Guestbook

  1. Ari Eisenberg, November 13, 2016

    I remember Mary so fondly. She and Michael took such good care of us the year that Charles and I lived in D.C., bringing us furniture to fill our empty apartment and sharing laughter and food with us. As we say in Hebrew, zikhronah livrakha – her memory will always be a blessing. We’ve donated to the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens in her honor.

    Reply
  2. Paul and Phyllis Biddle, November 13, 2016

    Sometimes in our lives someone comes along who teaches us lessons for life and how to deal with the good as well as the bad. Mary was a person who exemplified all of what is important in life, strength in convictions and support of family and friends. She tirelessly supported her family, especially Ben, as well as Bridget and grandchildren. Never a day went by that we, as neighbors, wouldn’t see her driving grandchildren to events or school and taking Ben for a walk in his wheelchair. Meeting Mary on the sidewalk between their house and Bridget’s, she was always cheerful and ready to take on whatever that day were to bring. God bless her for lessons in life and bless her family in this time of loss. Mike, you and Mary were the perfect couple.

    Reply
  3. Linda and Kevin Henker, November 13, 2016

    We will greatly miss Mary’s smile and warm greeting whenever she passed our home, while taking Ben for a walk. She was such a giving and caring woman.

    Reply
  4. Jefff Karls, November 13, 2016

    Mary was a Great Lady with a Big Heart. I remember her dry sense of humor and that it was always best to stay on her good side, or else! Her whole face lit up when she smiled.

    When Michael was finally able to take a vacation in Mexico with his amigos, it just so happened that a huge snowstorm hit the East coast and Mary was stuck at home shoveling, while Michael was reading his book in warm sunshine overlooking the bright blue ocean. We all knew then that he was in BIG trouble with Mother Mary, and better get home soon, which he did.

    Reply
  5. Tom Miller, November 14, 2016

    Mike, we are so sorry to read of Mary’s passing. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Tom and Barb Miller

    Reply
  6. Jim & Sue Tosky, November 14, 2016

    So sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  7. leni markell, November 14, 2016

    Mary was such an “up ” person . It made my day to see her walking around the neighborhood always smiling and a good word for everyone. She will certainly be missed. My sincerest condolences to the family.

    leni markell.

    Reply
  8. Anne Smith, November 14, 2016

    The the Hughes and Hoppe Family,
    So sorry to hear of the sudden loss of Mary. I am one of the moderators of St. Mark’s Blue Gold. I have many fond memories of Ben, as our Buddy, and Mary supporting his every accomplishment. Please tell Ben that St. Mark’s will keep you all in our prayers as we ask God to bless you and give you peace. We send our sympathy and caring thoughts.

    Fondly,
    Anne Smith
    St. Mark’s Blue Gold Moderator

    Reply
  9. Mary Carolan Cronin, November 14, 2016

    When I lost Tom four years ago I was devastated as I am sure you are. A day won’t go by when you don’t remember her. Cherish your memories.
    xoxo
    Mary Carolan Cronin

    Reply
  10. Barb Huennekens Steltenpohl, November 17, 2016

    Mike, I’m so sorry to hear of your devastating loss. I didn’t know Mary, but I know you shared a long, eventful love filled life. Take care of yourself.
    Regards, Barb

    Reply
  11. Kay Freres Caspersen, November 22, 2016

    Mike, What a sad, sad loss, my most sincere condolence. I never met Mary but would have at our 60th BD partay in Racine if you were given the right date. Sorry. Beautiful obit for, as I learned, a beautiful, loving, energized woman.
    Kay Freres

    Reply
  12. Bob Kraver, February 11, 2017

    I was stunned and deeply saddened to recently hear of Mary’s passing. As with many in our neighborhood, I knew Mary just through our walking encounters. We would stop and chat pretty much every time we passed. I didn’t know her well at all, but, with some people you get a feel, and with Mary, you just knew she had a heart of gold. Now that I’ve read about her – working with troubled girls when she got out of college, and, later with special needs kids – I know I was right. Her premature departure is a loss for us all, and, of course, especially, to her family. My sympathies to you all. May we all ‘Happy Up” in her honor, though with a tear in our assorted eyes.

    Reply

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