Katherine Armstrong (1925-2018)
Katherine Armstrong, 92, died Feb. 14, 2018, in Olympia Fields, Illinois. Her survivors include a son, Michael Armstrong (Elizabeth Schevtchuk), of Cold Spring.
Known as Katie or Kate, she was born Sept. 1, 1925, in Galesburg, Illinois, the daughter of Walter Seth and Zell (James) Felt. She attended Knox College and the University of Illinois Urbana, where she studied architecture. It was at the U of I that she met Jesse Armstrong, a fellow student, who leaned over her drawing board to ask her to explain the Theory of Moments.
Katie and Jesse married and had 10 children. The family lived and grew in the burgeoning post-World War II suburbs of Levittown (where Jesse worked as a civil engineer) and Park Forest, Illinois. After her youngest child was born in 1965, Katie completed the education she had begun years earlier, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Governors State University.
Katie was elected to be a Park Forest Village Trustee in 2002. A fierce opponent of the Vietnam War and a supporter of the Green Party, Katie had a lifelong passion for politics and environmental protection. Known for her infectious laughter, Grandma Kate loved making friends on long train trips, helping out at the local food co-op and cooking pancakes for big family gatherings.
Besides her son and daughter-in-law in Cold Spring, she is survived by her nine other children, several sons- and daughters-in-law, 17 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a great-great grandson. She also is survived by a brother.
A celebration of her life will be held at University Park Golf Club in University Park, Illinois, on Feb. 25. Memorial contributions may be made to Thorn Creek Woods Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, IL 60466.
Claudia S. Hopper, 84, formerly of Cold Spring, died Feb. 4, 2018, in The Villages, Florida.
Born in Cold Spring, she was the daughter of Claude and Roberta (Fleming) Smith. She graduated from Haldane High School and attended Spencer Business School in New York City.
Claudia was employed as a stenographer with Texaco Oil in New York, where she met her future husband, James “Jim” Hopper. In 1969, they moved to Glen Burnie, Maryland, and was employed by the Anne Arundel County School System until her retirement in 1998.
In 2003, Claudia and Jim came to The Villages, where she was one of the original members of the Crazy Cards Club. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, the Honeymooners Club and participated in bocce, bowling, jazzercise and other clubs.
Besides her husband of 62 years, she is survived by her daughters, Melissa Haplea (Gene) and Priscilla Barker (Jerome), of The Villages; a sister, Priscilla Kessler (Richard), of Hobe Sound, Florida; five grandchildren: Justin, Trent, Megan, Kevin and Gretchen; and a great-granddaughter, Stella.
A memorial service will be held in The Villages on March 2, followed by a private committal service at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or Marion County Hospice, Ted & Diane Brandley House, 17395 SE 109 Terrace Road, Summerfield, FL 34491.
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