December 6, 1919 — February 27, 2017
Mary Michela Ponza Hopkins, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother for a posterity of about 100 lived almost a century. She died on Feb. 27, 2017, at age 97 in St George, Utah.
She was born Dec. 6, 1919, in Glenwood, California, on her uncle’s ranch. Soon her Italian immigrant parents established Ponza Ranch in Soquel. Giovanni Antonio Ponza and Maria Madalena Tolosano both came from San Michele Prazzo in northern Italy.
As a young woman, she moved to Redwood City, California, for work opportunities at a bakery which led to her meeting Joseph Eugene (Gene) Hopkins, her future husband. They married in 1940 in Capitola, California, with their service being performed by Gene’s brother, Bernard James Hopkins, a Catholic Priest. After a few years of young married life, Gene was drafted into WWII so Mary returned to Soquel for the years of his deployment. Their daughter was born the day Gene had left for the European Front.
As Mary records in her life history, Gene’s return was the most joyful day ever. They returned to Redwood City, added two sons to their family and prospered. Mary loved being a homemaker and worked at that prospect, making her home a place of respite, joy and delicious home cooked meals.
After a few years, Mary felt the need to find religious training for her young family and began learning about various faiths before being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That decision was a tremendous game changer for the good. As members of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, she and Gene have traveled the world, serving as missionaries in the Philippine Islands and loving people of all cultures.
She leaves a legacy of love and faith, a simple yet deep faith that was shown in her compassion and charity to many over the years. One of her motto’s was: Men’s work is from Sun to Sun; Women’s work is never done.
She lived by this, always serving, seeking, and reaching out to others. Even in recent years when her memory was cloudy, she was gracious, kind and compassionate. Her expressions of love to others emulated the Saviors.
She and Gene have 18 grandchildren and 66 great-grandchildren who continue in the faith to which she led. We love her and anticipate meeting her in the Spirit World. She is survived by her husband of over 76 years, Gene Hopkins, and children: Jeanne (David) Macdonald, Joe (Sophia) Hopkins and Jon (Andria) Hopkins. We thank those at River Road Beehive Home for three years of kind service and friendship.
- Funeral Services will be held March 4 at 1 p.m. in the Foothills LDS Ward Chapel, 20179 E. 2450 South, St George, Utah.
- Visitation will be at noon prior at the same location.
Family and friends are invited to share condolences online at www.SerinityStG.com. Arrangements and memorial tree planting are under the direction of Serenity Funeral Home.
The following is included at Gene’s request:
Do not ask me to remember
Don’t try to make me understand
Let me rest and know you’re with me
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
I’m confused beyond your concept
I’m sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you,
To be with me at all cost.
Do not lose your patience with me
Do not scold or curse or cry,
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
I can’t be different though I try.
Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me till my life is gone.