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Martha J. Hopkins Lesak Visitation for Martha J. Hopkins Lesak (nee Groot) was from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, at Friedrichs Funeral Home, 320 W. Central Road (at Northwest Highway), Mount Prospect. She will lie in state from 10 a.m. until the time of the services at 11 a.m. Saturday, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 605 W. Golf Road, Mount Prospect. Martha J. Hopkins Lesak (nee Groot), born June 17, 1928, died June 9, 2010. She is survived by her son, Steven J. (Cindy) Hopkins; daughter, Evelyn W. (Mark Denney) Hopkins; and grandchildren, Katie and Alex Hopkins, Colin Denney, Kasel and Robert Lesak, and Valerie Nathanson. Martha was born and raised in Chicago by her parents, John and Harriet Groot. She attended Roosevelt High School and went to Cornell College in Iowa. After school, Martha went on to become the first female civilian employee at Sky Motive, Old Orchard airfield, now O'Hare International Airport. She met her husband, Allen W. Hopkins (Hoppy), a mechanic for American Airlines, while at the Sky Motive branch in Washington, D.C. They married in 1950 and set up house in Virginia. While there, Martha hosted a local TV show addressing everyday how-to's and practical household tips. In 1960, the couple moved to the Chicago area, raised their family in Mount Prospect, and celebrated 27 years of marriage, before Allen's death in 1978. Martha Hopkins was a well-known book reviewer and travel speaker for 25 years. She also wrote many articles and finished her first novel. While in Mount Prospect, Martha completed her bachelor's and master's in church organ music, at the American Conservatory of Music of Chicago. She was an accomplished church organist, adult and children's choir director as well as a hand bell director. During this time, she became the dean of the American Organist Guild, for the Chicago Chapter. Interested in the civic life and community of Mount Prospect, Martha was elected as president of the Library Board, overseeing the construction of the original building. At the same time, she also was the building committee co-chair for the new nave at Trinity United Methodist Church. In 1984, Martha married Robert Lesak and moved to the Santa Ana, California area. She and Bob loved to travel the world, visiting Bob's son Glenn's family in Africa, friends in New Zealand and Great Britain and cruising to other exotic locations. She was a long-time participant of the Sierra Club and earned membership in the Circumnavigator's Club. Martha's favorite destinations were Nepal, Antarctica, and many parts of Africa, including at recent trip to Egypt. Martha became a member of the American Academy of University Women, and attended UC-Irvine to take writing courses. Martha enjoyed her work on the Santa Ana Zoo board, in addition to her many years as a dancer with the Tustin Racquettes, a senior women's organization. She was also an active King's Class member at the Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Tustin, donating much of her time to bible study, charitable events and people in need. In her spare time, Martha always enjoyed a challenging game of bridge and was an erudite Scrabble player. Martha Hopkins will be remembered fondly as a wonderful mother and grandmother, the consummate hostess, excellent neighbor and dear friend to many. In lieu of flowers, and in memory of Martha Hopkins Lesak, please consider donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Illinois Chapter, 651 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60661. For information, call 847-255-7800 or visit

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Published in Daily Herald from Jun. 11 to Jun. 12, 2010.
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4 entries
June 17, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your
time of grief. May your memories bring you

The staff of Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care
June 12, 2010
On behalf of the Mt. Prospect Public Library Board and staff, I extend our deepest sympathy to your family. Martha played a key role in our Library's history and made a permanent mark on us. We would not be where we are today without her and her fellow board members' vision for library service. I enjoyed meeting her at the dedication of our new library and most recently had a wonderful conversation at a historical society fundraiser for the schoolhouse. She was on the board before I came on staff so I never worked with her directly but I heard wonderful things about her as a dedicated library supporter. Marilyn Genther, Executive Director.
Marilyn Genther
June 11, 2010
Martha had a zest for life and adventure and will always be remembered as the life of the party. Her music and love of books enriched many of us. Our thoughts are with her family. She will certainly be missed.
Wendy Meinhardt
June 11, 2010
What an accomplished Human Being! A full life and a wonderful Daughter. Much Sympathy to all who are mourning her passing and celebrating her life.
Love, Jan Harris
Jan Harris
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