NORTH HAVEN - June Collins Hopkins was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1923, to Earl Buell Collins and Virginia Grant Collins. She died at Sussman House in Rockport, Maine, December 10, 2015, at age 92. She was surrounded by the love of her family and in the care of a wonderful hospice team.
June and her brother Leland spent summers in upstate New York with their paternal grandparents, caring for a backyard garden and cooking on a wood stove. She felt that those summers in the country were preparation for her life on North Haven. She graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School followed by Pennsylvania College for Women, now known as Chatham College. Throughout her schooling, she always was involved in the arts. She would make posters, work in plays, and liked to sculpt figures, cast them, and sell them. Art and retail came to her at an early age. While at Chatham, June bonded with 4 other friends who all stayed in touch their entire lives. After raising their families, they would meet each fall at one of their homes and spend a week together. Later in life, they stayed in touch by email.
June graduated from college in 1945. The day after graduation, she boarded a train to California where she worked in an orange packinghouse, drove a tractor and hung out on the beach in Laguna. She would often say: "I was very adventuresome!" After a summer in the California sun, she returned east and continued with her studies in an advanced standing course in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University.
Keeping to her "adventuresome" side, June met a friend in New York, whose uncle in Maine, an undertaker on Vinalhaven, had an acquaintance on North Haven who was looking for summer help at his inn. After arriving on North Haven, June discovered the job she had been hoping for had been filled, but she was able to find work at the North Haven Post Office for the summer, and was put up at Nebo Lodge. She met Bill Hopkins her very first day on the Island.
Bill and June married in June of 1948. June put her occupational therapy training to work in Bangor, while Bill completed his teaching degree at the University of Maine in Orono. They then settled on the Island, eventually purchasing Bill's grandfather's property in the village, the W. S. Hopkins General Store. They had 5 boys. While her husband taught high school, ran the North Haven-Vinalhaven ferry, operated a fish market and marina, and sold real estate, June borrowed $200 (using her refrigerator as collateral) to buy merchandise for a small shop. She ran the North Haven Gift Shop for over 62 years, sending out her final bills only a week before her death.
June greatly enjoyed sharing holiday meals, lobster feeds, and favorite Armenian recipes with family and friends. She often relaxed by playing the piano and singing. She was a long-standing member of the Pratt Memorial Methodist Church and later attended the South Thomaston Methodist Church.
June was predeceased by her parents; her husband, William R. Hopkins; her son, Stephen Bradford Hopkins; and grandsons, Shandi Hopkins and Evan Hopkins. She is survived by sons, William B. Hopkins and wife, Elizabeth Drinker Hopkins, of Eastport, Eric Hopkins of North Haven and Rockland, David Hopkins and his partner, David Wilson, of North Haven and Thomas Hopkins of North Haven and Whiting. She is survived by 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; her brother, Leland Collins and his wife, Ollie Collins, of Carmel Valley, California, many nieces, nephews and cousins, along with several unofficial adopted children.
June's seventeen-year-old cat, Mai, died the same day June was taken to Sussman House. The cat was buried with June at a private family interment on North Haven, at the Hopkins plot in the Seaview Cemetery, Saturday, December 12th.
A Memorial Service for June will be held this summer at the North Haven Church followed by a celebration of her life at the North Haven Gift Shop and Gallery on a date to be announced.
Those who wish may make memorial donations to either, Sussman House, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare, 22 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841; the North Haven Foundation, P.O. Box 664, Rockland ME 04841; North Haven EMS, c/o Alicia Brown, P.O. Box 458, North Haven, ME 04853; or Waterman's Community Center, P.O. Box 526 North Haven, ME 04853. Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. To share a memory or story with June's family, please visit her book of memories at www.bchfh.com.