Jean Hopkins Sargent

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Jean Hopkins Sargent of Vineyard Haven, formerly of Needham, died on Feb. 21. She was 81.

Jean grew up in Newton, and graduated from the Dana Hall School and Mount Holyoke College, where she sang with the “V8s,” an a cappella group. Jean taught English and history at the Walnut Hill School before meeting Richard Sargent, to whom she was married until 1972.

Very proud of her antiwar efforts in the ’60s, Jean participated in the “Moratorium” March on Washington in 1969. She began a long career improving the lives of disabled children in 1973, when she helped create the Bailies Beginning Center in Canton. Jean founded the Cole-Harrington Preschool in 1977. She was a case manager and children’s advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health until her retirement to Martha’s Vineyard in 2000. Jean continued to work with children on the Vineyard, reading with young students long into her retirement.

Jean loved sunsets at Menemsha and her view of the ferry from her Adirondack chair at Havenside. Her many neighbors there were a great source of friendship and strength. She was a knitter of great repute, turning out untold numbers of beautiful sweaters, socks, and baby blankets. She was known especially for creating birthday “spiderwebs,” and for her customized Christmas stockings, which are impossible to completely fill.

Jean looked forward to joining her parents, Stephen and Jane Hopkins, and her youngest grandson, Lucas Hall. She is missed by her daughter Laura Hall, Laura’s husband Brian, and their children Ethan and Grace of Edgartown, her daughter Anne Arcano, husband Stephen, and their sons Ben, Henry, and Sam, of Bronxville, N.Y., and her son Stephen Sargent, his wife Mary, and their sons Nate of Nashua, N.H., Greg, of Burlington, Vt., and Drew, of Kochi, Japan. Jean’s brother Roland Hopkins of Plymouth and sisters Vicki Donlan of Hingham and Lauri Webster of Clearwater, Fla., also miss her.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601. A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury on March 20 at 4 pm.