Elizabeth T. 'Betty' Hopkins, retired executive secretary at NIH, dies

Elizabeth T. “Betty” Hopkins, a retired National Institutes of Health executive secretary, died June 13 of heart failure at the Gilchrist Center in Towson. The Lewes, Del., resident was 88.

The former Elizabeth Theresa Brown, the daughter of William H. Brown Jr., a Washington Navy Yard machinist, and his wife, Elizabeth Ebeling Brown, a stay-at-home parent, was born and raised in Washington.


She was a 1948 graduate of St. Anthony High School in Washington and in 1951 married Charles Jesse Hopkins, a banker, and settled in Rockville.

Mrs. Hopkins, who was known as “Betty,” worked for many years as an executive secretary to the director of contracts and grants at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.


When she retired in 1992, she and her husband moved to Lewes, where she became active with Harbour Lights Cheer Senior Center, and enjoyed bowling.

Mrs. Hopkins, who was an accomplished seamstress, made her own clothes, family members said. She was also a Washington Senators fan.

She was a former member of Shrine of St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Rockville, and in recent years had been an active communicant of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewes.

Her husband, who had been a banker with the National Bank of Washington, died in 2002.

A viewing will be held Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, York and Overbrook roads, Rodgers Forge. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 26669 Patriots Way, Millsboro.

Mrs. Hopkins is survived by two sons, Dr. William E. Hopkins of Columbia and Lawrence Hopkins of Rio Rancho, N.M.; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a great-great grandchild. Another son, John Hopkins, died in 2019.