Obituary for Kathleen "Kay" Hopkins
Stothers-Hopkins Kathleen M. I. (Kaye) - September 8, 1921 – April 12, 2017 passed peacefully in her sleep, at home early Wednesday morning at age 95.
Kaye is lovingly remembered and survived by her brother, Walter, her daughters Jo-Anne (Bruce) and Diane (Peter), her grandchildren Scott (Tamara), Marc (Reagan), Melissa and Matthew (Megan) and great-grandchildren Mae, Avery, Oscar, Mason, Sam, Magnus and Finn. She is predeceased by her parents Thomas and Kathleen, brother Alan and daughter Linda.
Born in Wadena Saskatchewan, the eldest child of a bank manager, Kaye’s studies took her first to Regina, then on to Vancouver, where she studied nursing. Upon graduation, she moved to Toronto, where she met and married Beverley Willard Hopkins in 1946 (ex). Shortly thereafter, they moved to Brighton with Jo-Anne, where they had 2 more daughters. In 1953, the family moved to Kingston where Kaye joined the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, a decision which was fundamentally instrumental in how she lived the rest of her life (63 years of sobriety!)
While achieving increasingly senior roles within the nursing field, Kaye simultaneously advanced her own scholastic pursuits, taking university courses in the evening, obtaining a diploma in Personnel Administration, and her B.Sc.N degree at age 43.
In 1965, the family returned to Toronto where Kaye eventually took the VON Home care course. Always a trailblazing vanguard, after taking over the obstetrics ward at Scarborough General Hospital, Kaye championed the inclusion of allowing husbands into the delivery room (unheard of at the time!)
In 1975, Kaye change careers and joined Centennial College as a counsellor, a career she maintained until her retirement in 1986. During this same time, she continued her pursuit of additional higher learning, earning her Certificate in Criminology in 19764 and her M.Sc.Ed in 1979.
Ever unconventional, after retirement, Kaye fulfilled a lifelong dream and joined clown school. For years thereafter, “Saggy Aggy the Bag Lady” entertained children, seniors and anyone else who needed a smile … or a balloon animal. In 2009, she was elected a lifelong member of “Clown Alley.”
While she was able, Kaye was a fervent traveler, whether it was flying to Portugal or Hong Kong, attending countless AA conferences, spending winters in Florida, weekends at her house in Presqu’ile or just taking road trips in her Westfalia van with her sidekick “Lord Stanley Dunraven.”
Whether you knew her as Mom, Kaye, Gigi or “Kaye H” through all aspects of her life, Kaye touched those who had the pleasure of knowing her - no matter whether through a 12-step call, a formal or informal counselling session or from the simple act of giving out a “Loonie.” She will be dearly missed, but we are all richer for having known and been loved by such a remarkable and special woman.
According to Kaye’s wishes, in lieu of a traditional funeral, there will be a “Celebration of Life” where all family and friends are welcome to join in fellowship and commemorate the wonderful life Kaye led. This will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7th at the East Gwillimbury Sports Complex (in Canada Hall), 1914B Mt. Albert Road, Sharon ON. In her inclusive manner, Kaye wished to invite attendees to bring Pot Luck finger foods and to feel welcome to share in friendship and memories. Please feel free to spread the word far and wide as ALL are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through your own 7th tradition, to the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (www.supportcamh.ca) or the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation (http://www.heartandstroke.ca)