Leah Hopping, nee Leah Maude Oakes, 104, long time resident of East Meadow,
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NY passed away on May 12th. Beloved wife of Harry. Loving mother of Harry Jr.
and Judy. Proud grandmother of Caitlin and Melissa and great grandmother of
Leah and Ronan. Her daughter-in-law Edy Nolan, grandson-in-law Harleen Sahni
and her sister Dorothy's extended family in Pittburgh and her brother Donald's
daughters in California will all miss her.
She was born in Bath, New York, on October 10, 1916. She had three siblings,
Dorthy, Donald, and Victor. She spent much of her childhood in Argentina and
Uruguay, where her father was working as a civil engineer, and where Leah grew
up fluent in Spanish and English.
The family returned to America when Leah was twelve. On the trip home, her ship
(sailing from Uruguay to New York) was caught in a hurricane at sea. Almost
everyone else was violently seasick. But she loved it--thrilled by the waves. Upon
their return, her family spent some time in New Orleans and Green Castle,
Indiana, before returning to her mother's hometown of Andover, New York. The
family felt the impact of the Crash of '29 and the Great Depression.
Leah skipped a grade in school and played the violin. She studied at Alfred
University but left to come to Manhattan, where she found work as a secretary and
met Harry Hopping, whom she married on September 15th, 1940 at the Marble
Collegiate Church in Manhatten, NYC. She was married in a black velvet suit with
a tiger lily corsage.
They lived in Brooklyn and had two children: Harry Jr, born in 1948, and Judy,
born in 1951. They bought a house in East Meadow in 1951, where Leah lived
until she relocated to Maple Pointe 3 years ago.
Leah worked for many years as the head medical secretary in the Physical Rehab
Dept at Nassau County Medical Center. While working, she went back to college
at Hofstra to major in Spanish, earning her degree in 1975.
Leah was widowed in 1994. She nursed her husband Harry through a very long
illness with patience and grace.
She is a long-time member of the Calvary Lutheran Church in East Meadow.
She loved reading and animals. She always had cats. And she loved to travel.
She took a trip back to South America in the late 70s, where she had a reunion
with her childhood friend Fifi, after 50 years apart.
In 2001 she took a trip out West with her friend Celine, where at age 85, she rode
a horse on at a dude ranch, assisted by a charming cowboy.
She celebrated her 90th birthday with a hot air balloon ride upstate, reaching an
altitude of 1500 feet and floating for miles over the countryside.
She has written her memoirs, which her late brother Victor published as a book.