As one priest put it, her service to the church "goes back forever."
Ardelle Hopson, a long-time member of Diocesan Council and of the Growth Fund, died on October 8. She was 83 and had been battling cancer. Fighting the good fight was in her nature.
"She was feisty, strong, opinionated, but always about doing the right thing for the Episcopal Church," said the Rev. Leslie Reimer of Calvary Episcopal Church, where Ardelle was a member for the last 13 years.
"Doing" describes Ardelle well. She served on vestries, participated in conventions, promoted stewardship, and with her late husband, Al, sang in the choir.
She was not afraid to speak her mind, whether about church or civic matters. The Post-Gazette archives contain her Letters to the Editor. In 2006, Ardelle joined a group of nationally prominent Episcopalians in writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury to argue against alternative Episcopal oversight.
Prior to Calvary, the Hopsons attended the Church of the Holy Cross in Homewood and before that, St. Martin's. There in Monroeville, Ardelle would help a young priest named Jim Simons.
"She was always involved, always there. She loved kids." Dr. Simons remembers, adding that she was like a surrogate grandmother to his son.
Ardelle's concern for families led her to be active in community groups such as Lydia's Place, the agency that cares for female offenders and their children.
She is survived by two children, Andrea Price and Thomas Douglas, both children of her previous marriage to George Douglas. He died in 2009. Al Hopson, who Ardelle married in 1964, died this past January.
A memorial Eucharist will be held Sunday, October 17, at 4:00 p.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church. Calvary's rector, the Rev. Canon Dr. Harold T. Lewis, will preside. The Rev. Leslie Reimer and the Rev. Nate Rugh, also of Calvary, along with the Rev. Dr. Moni McIntyre of Holy Cross, are scheduled to assist.
Notes may be sent to Andrea Price, 721 Brushton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208