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Peg (Margaret) Hopkins Billick passed away on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 at her home in Leawood, Kansas after struggles with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. There will be a service at Village Shalom at 3 pm on March 11, 2023 followed by a service and placing of her ashes at the Savannah, Ohio cemetery at a time to be determined.
Peg was born on the farm of her parents, Ernest and Mary (Coleman) Hopkins outside Jeromesville, OH on May 14, 1938. She was the third of five children, arriving minutes ahead of her ever younger twin brother Bill (deceased). While she grew up managing livestock, including driving tractors and spreading manure, and while she loved to return to the farm and visit family, she was also happy to explore and embrace the larger world.
After graduating from Jeromesville High School she received a degree from Ohio State University, where she met the partner of her life, Jim (James) Billick, when they shared three political science classes in one semester. After a short stint working in Washington, DC at the Peace Corps and then in Pittsburgh, PA where Jim went to graduate school and where her son, Ian Billick, was born, she and the family moved to Ottawa, Kansas when Jim joined the faculty at Ottawa University. She and Jim moved to Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City in 1980 when Jim’s work took him there. They eventually moved to their home on Hemlock Street in Overland Park, a home that Peg loved for 30+ years, which had room for a garden and birdwatching.
Peg initially focused on family after moving to Ottawa, including bringing her second child Mara Billick into the world. But always one to look to larger horizons, and perhaps dating to her early years not only managing livestock but tracking livestock finance with an eye towards paying for college, she went on to a career in finance, with a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. She worked professionally with a number of organizations, including Ottawa University and Helzberg Diamonds, as well as serving as Treasurer of the Greater Kansas City Area Committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Peg loved travel and spent retirement methodically working through her list of places to explore, from South Africa to Italy to Hawaii to Asia, often with family members. She also enjoyed hiking and birding and spent many summers with Ian and family wandering the mountains around Crested Butte, CO, where she made many good friends.
In addition to being survived by her husband Jim, and children, Mara (and spouse Luis Rodriguez) and Ian (and spouse Jennifer Reithel), she is also survived by her grandchildren, Lukas Rodriguez, and Cormac and Giles Billick. Survivors also include brothers James Hopkins of Jeromesville, Ohio and John (and his wife Julie) Hopkins of Guemes Island, WA. She was predeceased by her parents and brothers Bill and Steven Hopkins.
She was active with a number of non-profits and causes, including the Mary and Ernest Hopkins Family Scholarship at the Ashland County Community Foundation (https://ashlandforgood.org/scholarships/) and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (rmbl.org) as well as organizations dedicated to women, arts, and the environment. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers a gift to one of these causes in her memory.
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