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.