Bertha Hopson, 81

Sept. 22, 1932-July 25, 2014
Bertha Hopson, 81  Sept. 22, 1932-July 25, 2014

Bertha Hopson, the ninth in an East Hampton family of 10 children, who lived here her entire life, died at Southampton Hospital on July 25 as the result of an aneurysm. She was 81.

In 1954, Ms. Hopson was among 12 charter members of East Hampton’s Calvary Baptist Church. She retired only recently from its usher board, after receiving a pin honoring her 55 years of service.

Ms. Hopson was known as “Cheese,” a nickname from her school days. She was an active member of the community, attending meetings of the East Hampton Town and School Boards and participating in numerous programs such as the citizens police academy. She loved reading and going to the East Hampton Library and enjoyed the town’s senior citizens center. Ms. Hopson’s “humor was unmatched,” her family said, but she also stood by her convictions and did not hesitate to speak her mind.

She was born on Sept. 22, 1932, in an area of East Hampton she called “down below the bridge,” to Robert Hartwell and the former Lottie Mason. She and William Hopson were married at the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton in 1950, a few months after she graduated from East Hampton High School. Mr. Hopson bought his wife’s childhood residence on Race Lane, and the couple lived there for 63 years. He survives.

Ms. Hopson was a “faithful wife and proud mother of four,” her family said. She enjoyed writing letters to the newspaper and doing jigsaw puzzles. She frequently called The Star to identify people in its “Remembering the Past” photograph feature, and won a lot of T-shirts for correct answers, her son Alan Hopson of East Hampton said. She also liked to drive, and did so even before she had a license, her family said, which prompted a reminder from a local police officer at least once that she needed to get the car home. Later in life, she got around the village on a bicycle, and when she walked, others had to jog to keep up with her. She liked to bake and was known for her coconut cake. Over the years, she also kept house for two East Hampton families, the Jaildagians and the Chapmans.

Besides her husband and her son Alan Hopson, she is survived by another son, Robert Hopson of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and two daughters, Lois Ann Collins of Calverton and Lee Ann Gore of Fayetteville, W.Va. Of her siblings, two sisters survive. They are Lucy West of East Hampton and Marie Gaines of Montclair, N.J. Seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren also survive.

A wake will be held today at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A service will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton.

In her memory, the family has suggested donations to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, Second Floor, Princeton, N.J. 08540, or to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 60 East 56th Street, Eighth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10022.