Darlington Hoopes Jr.

Hoopes—Darlington Hoopes Jr., 90, on December 27, 2017, in West Reading, Pa. Darl was born on January 1, 1927, in Norristown, Pa., to Hazelette Miller and Darlington Hoopes Sr. Later that year his family moved to Reading, Pa. He graduated from George School in 1945, Albright College in 1950, and Dickinson School of Law in 1953. During his service in the army he was convinced that war and force were not an acceptable way to resolve disputes, leading to his work with Friends Committee on National Legislation and American Friends Service Committee. He was active in the Socialist party in the 1940s and ’50s and ran for District Attorney for that party in 1955. In the late ’50s he became a Democrat.

As a member of Reading Meeting he shared his legal training and experiences; taught Friends the value of frank and open debate about divisive subjects; diligently taught senior level First-day school during the 1960s; and for a decade mowed the lawn, weeded the gardens, and maintained the meetinghouse grounds. He was a trustee for Reading Meeting, the treasurer for Caln Quarter, and a member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Standing Committee. His energetic participation in these activities tempered each community.

He practiced law for more than 53 years and belonged to the Berks County and American Bar Associations. His attendance at Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 was an honor for him. He served on the George School Board of Directors in 1964–1989 and devoted his time to volunteering for many peace and social order concerns, going in 1966 to Mississippi to provide pro bono legal representation to the oppressed.

To promote democracy and equality for all humans, he served on the boards of Reading–Berks Human Relations, United Way, Berks County Mental Health Association, Economic Opportunity Council, National Council of Alcoholism, and Berks County Community Action Program, for which he was also treasurer. He helped establish Pill Addicts Anonymous and Threshold Inc., providing pro bono legal services. A state Democratic committee member for more than 40 years, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Berks County Democratic Committee, and having voted in more than 50 consecutive general elections led to induction in the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame.

He and Fran enjoyed many political and charitable functions together, and he shared his passion for fishing with his children and his grandchildren, who were a source of great joy. He joined his fellow Blue Marsh Bass Masters at many fishing tournaments, including an annual Canadian tournament.

Darl was predeceased by his brother, Rae Hoopes. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Fran Cichowicz Hoopes; five children, Rebecca Powers (Michael), Ruth Salvin (Gene), Ellen Simmons (Jerry), Melissa Hoopes Leonovich (Mike), and Darlington Andrew Hoopes (Jane); seven grandchildren; a sister, Delite Hawk; and many nieces and nephews.

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