Joan Cogley Hopkinson lived a full life and died of natural causes on April 8, 2020.
Joan Cogley was born January 4, 1929, on the family farm outside of Grinnell, Iowa, the fifth of thirteen children to Clara and John Cogley. John was a cattle buyer, Clara a home-and-garden maker. Joan’s dream as a young girl was to go to college; she pursued her college degree for many years while working as a medical technologist, finally graduating with a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1964. Soon afterwards, Joan met and married Harold R. Hopkinson, and they settled into their east-side Milwaukee, WI home, rearing children Caroline Marie and John Thomas. After their divorce, Joan joined the Milwaukee Public School system as a teacher, eventually earning a master’s degree and becoming a reading specialist for many years at Rufus King High School. Joan retired in 1989 to Grinnell and a beautiful home she had built there, which featured a flower garden she designed and planted. Joan lived in Grinnell for ten years, then joined Caroline in Savannah, GA, downsizing to a smaller house where she enjoyed a quiet life of reading and working in the garden. There she very much enjoyed occasional rummage sales, having Caroline and friends over for supper, and visiting with John, his wife Christine and their two children, Emma and Broderick (Brodie.)
Joan loved beautiful things, had good taste and an “eye” for furniture, jewelry and clothes– as a young woman she was a striking, elegant presence. She collected antiques to fill her well-appointed homes. In later years, she translated her “eye” into a pretty successful “junk business” as she called it, scouring rummage sales for good buys and reselling her finds. Joan was also a seeker of knowledge, a reader, and she appreciated good conversation, especially about ideas, books, and politics. Joan loved her family and valued character highly. She was immensely proud of her parents and siblings, and devoted to her children, ever-supportive of their pursuits. She was (justifiably) enchanted by her grandchildren and started college funds at their births, investing in them regularly for 20 years. Joan’s children are most grateful for her example of empathy, consideration for others, and a life lived in tune with her well-crafted values.
A favorite phrase was “getting old ain’t for sissies, and Joan was helped in her old age by some good friends and neighbors, and in the last years by caregivers: Cheryl Wilder, Victoria Morgan, Jasmine Williams and Leigh Woods. Thank you!
Joan is predeceased by her parents, siblings Betty, Eleanor, Bernice, Avis, Barbara, Clarence, Marilyn, Keith, James and Allen, and nephews Colin Cogley and Kevin Lang. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, sister Pat Lang, brother Roy Cogley, and many nieces and nephews.
Joan did not want a formal memorial service. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that in Joan’s memory– read to a child, help out a neighbor, consider another person’s point of view.Print This Obituary & Condolences