Dawn Lea (Hopkins) Willis of Milford passed away on Feb. 27 due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. She was preceded in death by her husband James, mother Catherine (Draper) Hopkins of Harrington, and father B. Norman Hopkins of Milford. She is survived by her three children, Beau (Danielle) Willis of Takoma Park, MD, Hunter (Skye) Willis of Colorado Springs, CO, Brie (Lance) Wyatt of Milford, DE, seven grandsons, and sister Kathy Delozier of Pamplin, VA.
Dawn grew up in Harrington where she played high school field hockey and softball. She later attended Madison College (now James Madison University) when it was still a women’s college. She never accepted it going co-ed her senior year. After graduating, she taught in Virginia before returning to Delaware and teaching at Lake Forest High School.
After her husband died, she ran his produce brokerage for several years before returning to teaching in 1985. Over the years, she taught many different subjects but loved social studies and the opportunity it gave her to continue learning about the world around her. She was an early adopter of bringing technology into the classroom and presented at many conferences to encourage other teachers to do the same. She enjoyed contributing to the state assessments for social studies and participating in conferences with National Geographic. She received many awards for her teaching contributions including the Middle States Council for the Social Studies’ Distinguished Service Award, the Delaware Geographic Alliance’s Geography Teacher of the Year in 2000, and Milford School District’s Teacher of the Year in 1993.
Dawn’s other passion was her children. Widowed with three young children, she ensured that they received everything they needed. She would play catch with and pitch to her children in the backyard. The kids played soccer, baseball, softball, and basketball and participated in school plays and the Second Street Players. Despite raising them on her own, she managed to attend the vast majority of her children’s activities and celebrate all their achievements.
Services will be held at Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church Street, Milford at 1pm Saturday, March 7th. Viewings will be at the church Friday evening 6-8pm and Saturday 11:30am-1pm. Due to Dawn’s enjoyment of and commitment to Avenue’s contemporary service, the family asks that donations be made to the Avenue United Methodist Church AV Upgrade Fund, 20 N. Church Street, Milford, DE 19963 in lieu of flowers. Arr. by Lofland Funeral Home, Milford. Letters of condolence may be shared with the family at www.loflandandmcknatt.com.
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