Jean Elizabeth (Baney) Hopkins; born on November 4, 1950 in Hastings, Michigan, to Robert & Donita Baney; went to be at her Savior’s side on January 20, 2017.
Jean grew up with two brothers, Dennis (Bonnie) Baney and Jack (Kris) Baney, along with one sister, Susan Baney (John) Sedine in Kentwood, Michigan until age 14; when her family relocated to Stanwood, Michigan, where she graduated from Morley Stanwood High School in 1968.
The following year, Jean married Mark E. Hopkins on February 14, 1969 in a nice church wedding — Stanwood, Michigan.
Jean and Mark have 3 lovely daughters: Darra (Bobber McLouth) Carpenter, Heidi (Angel) Hopkins Basen, and Tracy (Craig) Murdzia. Jean was blessed with 9 grandchildren: Dylan, Tyler, Madison, Austin, Trinity, Alec, Andrew, Andréana, and André. There is also her mother-in-law, Leona Mumah, her sister-in-law, DeEtta Hopkins, and two brother-in-laws, Gary (Kaye) Hopkins, and Lynn (Connie) Hopkins; as well as several nieces and nephews.
In 1980, Jean was hired by Muskegon County Head Start in Muskegon, Michigan. While working with Head Start, Jean went to night school to obtain a CDA (Child Development Associates) accreditation. She worked her way from a teacher’s aide, to a teacher, and eventually to a site director after acquiring her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development in 2000.
Jean relocated with her husband to Mesa, Arizona for health reasons in 2002. She obtained a site director position with Maricopa County Head Start in Phoenix, Arizona. Later she was promoted to a Mentor Teacher position until 2013 when she went on long term disability.
While her daughters where growing up, Jean and her husband were active in foster care. During this time, they had about 125 children (mostly girls) live with them, generally 3-5 at a time (group home). Some of these children stayed well through their high school years. Many of these children have stayed in contact with Jean well after they transitioned from the foster care system.
Jean and Mark also opened their home to exchange students, mostly from Spain. Two of their children, Heidi and Tracy, were than able to go to Spain in return. It was a great experience for all.
Jean greatest hobby was sewing — making and embroidering many fine pieces of clothing and blankets. She also enjoyed working alongside her husband while renovating and remodeling their “Korner Kabin” in the Manistee National Forest — Bitely, Michigan. Traveling, reading, camping, fishing, and just conversing with people were other activities that she loved to do.
All that knew her — loved her. All are sadden by her passing. She will be remembered!!!
Visitation will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home on 7900 E Main Street in Mesa, AZ 85207 on Friday January 27, 2017 from 5pm to 9pm.
At The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 1483 N Driftwood Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85234, additional visitation will be held on Saturday January 28, 2017 from 10:00am to 11:30 am with funeral services to follow at 12:00pm.