Ruth Yvonne Cecil Hopewell

2 entries
  • "With love she will be missed!"
    - Carol Herring
  • "My loving mother, was and always will be such a positive..."
    - Paul Hopewell
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Ruth Yvonne Cecil Hopewell, age 86, passed away in Newnan, Sunday, March 20, 2016.
Born in the small community of Quicksand, Ky., to William Penn and Nettie Ruth Haddix Cecil, she touched the lives of many and left her mark all over the world. Ruth persevered to live an abundant life of significance.
She loved her family and enjoyed planning special experiences to bring them together, including family journeys to England, Ireland, Alaska and Hawaii. Her family is forever grateful for the influence of her creative spirit and zest for life.
She is survived by her children, James William Hopewell (Terry), Paul Cecil Hopewell, and Anne Ruth Hopewell Graner (Lou); her grandchildren, Amber Hopewell Kerr (Chris), David William Hopewell (Heidi), Jessica Anne Graner, and Lindsay Margaret Graner; her great-grandchildren, Addison Christine Kerr, Graham Luke Kerr, and Phoenix David Hopewell; her remarkable caregiver, Jennifer Allen.
Ruth, a woman of resilience and strength, is preceded in death by her father; mother; and husbands, James "Jim" Franklin Hopewell, Allen Harra, John Schmitz, and William "Bill" Ferzacca.
With visions of helping others improve their lives through education, Ruth received degrees from the University of Cincinnati, Columbia University, and the University of London, England. As a young missionary, she and her late husband, Jim Hopewell, moved to Liberia, Africa, where she taught in a one-room schoolhouse and supervised student teachers. Ruth also enthralled students as a talented, skilled teacher and school administrator in Cincinnati, Ohio, Newton, Mass., New City, N.Y., Cumming and Decatur; and as an assistant professor in New Britain, Conn. Chosen as the first female principal in the Forsyth County School System, she solidified her journey as a pioneer in education.
Her vivacious spirit was also seen on stage as a community theatre actress and director in Cumming, Newnan, and St. Simons. Directing "12 Angry Men," Ruth and her cast won the 'Ensemble Acting' award at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 1993. In later years, she and late husband, Bill Ferzacca, created the StorySpinners and were beloved storytellers for children in Lexington, Ky. They were awarded United Way's Volunteer-of-the-Year for Central Kentucky in 2006 (family category) for their storytelling.
Wherever Ruth lived, she impacted her community and her church. Her volunteer interests varied from hospital and hospice settings to schools, theatre and global outreach. In her 70s, she played percussion instruments for the New Horizons Senior Band after a lifelong love of music and singing. Desiring to learn about new cultures, Ruth traveled to diverse countries throughout her life. Her spirit has now traveled to her Creator and inspires those who loved her.
A "Celebration of Life" memorial service will be held Saturday, March 26, at 3 p.m., at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Newnan. Visitation will occur prior to the service, 2–2:45 p.m., and a reception will be held after the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Coweta Samaritan Clinic, P.O. Box 963, Newnan, GA 30264, to help provide quality medical and dental care to the uninsured.
McKoon Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
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Published in Forsyth County News from Mar. 22 to Mar. 24, 2016