Mary Jean Hopkins

August 27, 1930December 5, 2018

Mary Jean Hopkins, 88, our extraordinary mother, grandmother and friend died at home surrounded by love on December 5, 2018. Mary Jean was born in Woodstock, Ill., on August 27, 1930 to Paul J. and Vera M. Doherty and is survived by her four children Jon (Amy), Elizabeth, Paul, and Amy (Ira) Silver. Proud of her Irish roots and Doherty clan, Mary Jean had a quick sense of humor and loved people. She was strong and independent, even later in life, and singularly devoted to her four children, ten grandchildren and her many wonderful friends. After many happy years living in the Milwaukee area, Mary Jean and her then-husband Mark Hopkins moved their midwestern family to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1969 aboard the Greek ship Queen Anna Maria,and embarked on a life of travel, new experiences, spirited gatherings, debates over world events, and, always, much laughter. In 1978 Mary Jean began a new chapter, returning to the workforce after 20 years as a mother. She was lucky enough to meet Sam Keker, editor of U.S. News & World Report in Washington, D.C. where she worked as administrative and editorial assistant to Mr. Keker and many subsequent editors for some 25 years before her (reluctant) retirement at age 76. During that time, Mary Jean found a home in Glover Park, where she lived a busy and happy life among wonderful friends, many grandchildren, and a succession of much-loved dogs. She adored summer visits to Rehoboth Beach, Christmases at home, the morning Washington Post and evenings on her deck. Mary Jean was preceded in death by her beloved grandsons, Benjamin and Sam Silver of Chevy Chase, Maryland; her brother, Donald P. Doherty of McHenry; and a sister, Helen Ann, who died in childhood. Surviving grandchildren include Brooke and Kristina Hopkins of Mequon, Wisc.; Claire Hopkins of Washington; Nicholas (Stow, Mass.), Katharine (Dover, England), Jacob (Braintree, Mass.) and Rebecca (Burlington, Vermont) Hopkins; and Evan and Lauren Silver of Chevy Chase. Mary Jean was loved and respected by so many. The family will greet friends for a celebration of her life on Saturday, December 15, 2018, at Joseph Gawler's Sons Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 1 p.m. Mary Jean will be buried in her home town of McHenry, Illinois, at a later date. Those who wish may make memorial donations to House of Ruth for Women and Children, 5 Thomas Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20005


15 December

Memorial Gathering

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Joseph Gawler's Sons LLC

5130 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016


Mary Jean Hopkins

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Jane Zimmerman

December 10, 2018

I knew Mary Jean as Elizabeth’s mom and Claire’s grandmother. In almost every conversation — whether it was about helping with a simple errand or a major life event like becoming a parent — Elizabeth would say, “My Mom is so great!” She was. Mary Jean especially adored her grandchildren, and her granddaughter Claire whom I’ve known since she was born. What a wonderful woman and family. Much love and sympathy to you all.

Carolyn Doherty Sweeney

December 8, 2018

I loved spending time with Mary Jean....loved how she encouraged everyone at her table to take a stance....and loved how she loved to share stories and wanted everyone involved in the conversation. She will be missed by everyone who ever loved her. Peace to her family and many friends. Sharing her life was a gift .