In Memory of Margery June Hoppin

Older woman with short hair and leaf themed necklace
Margery June Hoppin

Margery (Marge) Evert Hoppin passed away on July 17 at home under hospice care in the presence of her family. She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 29, 1925 to John and Pearl Evert. At the age of two, her family moved to Glendive, Montana where her father was a surgeon at the Northern Pacific hospital.  Upon the death of her father in 1937, the family moved back to St. Paul where Marge graduated from Murray High School with top honors in 1943.  During the summer of 1943, she worked as a file clerk and receptionist at the University of Chicago Memorial Hospital during World War II while the Manhattan project was underway just a few blocks away.  She then enrolled at the University of Minnesota and graduated with a BA in Psychology with a minor in Economics in 1946.  While a senior in college she met Richard (Dick) Hoppin whom she married in September 1947.  They moved to Pasadena, California where Dick earned his PhD in Geology and Marge earned a Master’s Degree at Claremont College in Educational Psychology.  Following brief stays in Florida and Cape Cod, when Dick was serving in the Air Force Reserve during the Korean War, they moved along with their small son Art to a house on Melrose Court in Iowa City in August 1952.  Dick then began his long career at the University of Iowa as a Professor of Geology. During the 1950s, as the family grew, Marge enrolled in more graduate courses in child psychology and was a Research Associate at the Institute of Preventative Psychiatry at the University until 1961.  The family moved to a new house on Lee Street in 1964, where Marge lived until her recent death.

In 1965, Marge began her distinguished career at the University of Iowa in the Sponsored Programs Division.  She served as Director of the division from 1969 until her retirement in 1991. During that time, the total grants and contracts from various government agencies awarded to the University of Iowa grew from $20 million to over $122 million, which she always credited to the excellence of the proposals from the teaching faculty.  Marge was very active in the National Council of University Research Administrators that represented more than 500 colleges and universities. She served as the Council’s first female President in 1978 through 1979.  She was honored as a charter member and fellow of the Nation Academy of University Research Administrators in 1985. Marge published several articles in national journals and gave over a dozen invited presentations at various national meetings. 

Marge served on the Board of Directors of First National Bank in Iowa City from 1975 to 1993 and was Chairman from 1990 to 1993. 

Marge was a longtime and active member of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City. She freely and generously volunteered her time to numerous community activities including serving on the Board of Directors of the local Unicef and United Way campaigns, as well as the Family Planning Council of Iowa, and the Emergency Housing Project. After retirement from the University and well into her nineties, she volunteered at the Iowa City Public Library, the University Hospital, and the Kirkwood College Adult Literacy Program to help new immigrants become US citizens.  She enjoyed concerts at Hancher, was a prolific reader, and avid gardener.  Marge was proud of her community and dearly loved her many caring neighbors and friends. 

Marge was preceded in death by husband, Richard ‘Dick’, son, Arthur and brothers, John and Robert Evert.  She is survived by sons, Charles Hoppin (Bonnie) and Andrew Hoppin, and daughter, Jan Hensel (Paul) and daughter-in-law, Karla Presler; grandchildren Tim Hoppin (Kate), Dan Hoppin (Kandace), Brian Hensel (Sarah), Matt Hensel (Kristen), Anna Hensel, and Angela  Kumar (Jai), as well as five great grandchildren.  

The family would like to thank Sue Chase and all the caregivers (Alishea, Brooke, Tamara, Deb L, Deb U, Sheila, Jean, Julie, Alexis, Akyrah) and to St. Croix Hospice for all their compassionate care while she remained at home throughout the past few months. 

A memorial service for Marge will be held at the Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Iowa City on August 15th with visitation at 2:30 pm, service at 3:30, and a reception to follow.  In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials directed to either the Community Foundation of Johnson County, the UI Center for Advancement, or the Congregational Church.