Vilano Beach icon passes: Mary Kate Hopping

Mary Kate (Mary Kay) Lollar Hopping, born in 1923 to Hugh L. Lollar and Pearl Murray Lollar in Wayne, Okla., formerly of Aurora, Ind., and resident of Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Fla., passed to the Lord on March 25, 2010.

As a young woman in Oklahoma and proud Sooner, she worked as a hat model and volunteered for the war effort. In Indiana, she was a member of Tri-Kappa, Toastmasters, Girl Scout leader and volunteered for the American Red Cross during the Ohio River Valley floods.

Upon moving to St. Augustine, she worked at Potter”s Wax Museum and in the hospitality industry, earned her captain”s license and piloted a local shrimp boat.

She found her true vocation later in life when she went back to school in her 60s and earned her CNA license. She worked with the elderly in private home health care and at Gilmer”s Nursing Home, where she was known as “Sweet Mary.”

She also volunteered with the St. Johns County Council on Aging and Meals on Wheels. She took painting lessons and expressed her artistic and sewing abilities with the crafts group she hosted in her home.

While she cherished her home on “Vanilla Beach” and the Vilano Beach community, she was grateful for the care she received at The Pavilion and Samantha Wilson Care Center at Bayview and Northeast Florida Community Hospice. (She loved you all “more than a speckled pup!”)

She is survived by sister, Moselle Watson; brother, James Lollar; daughters Donna King, Deborah (Phil) Daugherty, Dinah Hernandez and Dawn (Bradley) Davis; son, David (Melinda) Hopping; nieces and nephews. But her biggest smiles were saved for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A family memorial is planned for later, but your prayers would be greatly welcomed. Donations in remembrance to Caring Hands-Caring Community, Northeast Florida Community Hospice and St. Johns Council on Aging would be appreciated.

Arrangements in care of Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park.

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