Longtime Beach resident Beatrice Ann Hopkins is being remembered for the decades she spent as a specialist foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society, providing a safe haven for hundreds of children.
Hopkins died suddenly at the age of 91 on Christmas Day at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.
She had been visiting family in the area when she unexpectedly fell ill and was taken to the hospital.
Hopkins joins her husband George, the love of her life, who passed away far too soon in 1981 at the age of 53.
She and George began their journey together in Lakefield, Ontario but soon moved to Toronto where they made their life in the Beach.
Here they raised their children Dan, Sally and Ted and put down deep roots in the community.
George worked for the TTC, where he became an inspector and instructor, driving one of the first trains out of Kennedy Station.
Beatrice started a home daycare and became a specialist foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society. For 55 years the Hopkins’ home was a safe haven filled with love and no-nonsense care for hundreds of children.
She was fondly referred to as Nana Bea by parents and kids alike with many of her “children” coming to visit her regularly. One of her foster children, Wayne, stayed with Bea for his entire adult life. What started as a way to make extra money for the household is now a legacy that changed the lives of many.
Despite losing George early, Bea was rarely alone.
She had a wide group of friends in the neighbourhood who would always drop in for a cup of tea, a sweet and a dose of common-sense advice on any subject that happened to be on top of the agenda for the day.
With an infectious laugh and often unexpected sense of humour, a visit to her home left one feeling full and happy. She was also a fixture “down Queen”, loved the thrill of thrift and antique store shopping and finding the perfect antique teacup or dish.
She lived in her home for 58 years, from the early days of her family life until the end, exactly how she would have wanted it to be.
Bea will be deeply missed by her children Dan (Cindy), Sally (Bruce) and Ted (Patti). Grandchildren Jefferson (Kaia), Lisa (Steve), Stacey (Kevin), Zachary (Laura), Ariel (Derek) and Caitlin (Collin). Great Grandchildren Samuel, Sawyer, Dannah, Carstairs, Audrey, Jackson, Rylea, Georgia and Barrett. Dear sister of Betty Williams (d. Gordon), Idonia Young, Maxwell (d. Marilyn), Cauline (Dale), John (Linda), Garry (June) and Charles (Jesse). Predeceased by her siblings Dorothy Saltern (d. Roley), Robert and Douglas and great grandchild Liam.
A service and celebration of her life will be held at St John’s Norway Anglican Church, 470 Woodbine Ave., on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to The Children’s Wish Foundation (childrenswish.org) or The Hospital For Sick Children (sickkidsfoundation.com).
“Do not mourn for me, for I have not left you.
Look in the eyes of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And you will find me there.