Marie Hepworth passed away peacefully Sunday morning following a brief illness. She was predeceased by her parents, William and Helen Nevins, husband John Hepworth, brother Michael Nevins, step-son Gregory Hepworth and good friend and sister-in-law Marilyn Watt. Marie is survived by her four children and their spouses: Brenda and Gregory Sabol; Steven Hepworth; Clark and Karlyn Hepworth; Julia and David Jurena, as well as cherished grandchildren Julian Hepworth and Libby Jurena. She is also survived by her step-grandchildren Adina and Cody, and her nephews and nieces. She will be missed and remembered by her friends from her old neighborhood in Johnson City, many of whom remained close from early childhood until the present. Marie was a loving wife to John. As a mother she raised her children with a deft touch, and throughout their lives was a source of love, wisdom, compassion and understanding. These same traits she brought to her professional career as a guiding mentor to many young women, friends and associates. Graduating from Johnson City High School in 1950, Marie went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Keuka College in 1954. Following college she tried to pursue a professional career but found all doors closed to any woman who sought more than a secretarial position. So she bided her time and dedicated the next 15 years to raising her family. In 1970 Marie decided to try again and accepted a position with the Indian Hills Girl Scout Council and in 1974 became the Executive Director until her retirement in 1995. Marie had a lifelong love and commitment to scouting and never imagined that that passion would lead to a successful and rewarding career, a career in which she was committed to enriching the lives of thousands of young women, being a role model, positive influence and friend to anyone who dared to believe that they could break out of the mold that women were supposed to be fashioned from; anyone who dared to believe that they could be more than what they were told they could and should expect to be. She was extremely grateful for this opportunity she had earned, and proud of the work she had done, as well as the worth she brought to the lives she touched. Marie was deeply committed to her faith in God. She was a long time member of West Presbyterian Church and worked with integrity and diligence helping forge a bond with First Presbyterian Church as the two congregations joined to become United Presbyterian Church. Up until the day of her illness she remained active in, and committed to, the church and utilized her knowledge, managerial skills and experience to help guide the church forward with endeavors such as the Fresh Start Program aimed at providing job readiness and employment for people who have recently been released from incarceration. A lifelong champion of women’s rights she believed in the equality of all people. She was kind, helpful, tolerant and fair minded. If there was a conflict or dispute she patiently listened to all sides of the argument and gently nudged everyone to find common ground and a peaceful and workable resolution. Strong and independent until the day she was sidelined by her illness, Marie would most like to be remembered as a guiding light in her community and for the joy she took when her family was gathered around her, bonding through the ups and downs, joys, sorrows, triumphs and pitfalls in their lives.And, as her son Steven would point out, for better or for worse, she was a dedicated NY Giants fan and like everything in her life she never lost faith. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, at 11:00AM, at the Barber Memorial Home, Inc., 428 Main St, Johnson City. Burial will be at Vestal Hills Memorial Park. The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 4:00-7:00PM and on Thursday at 10am until the time of the service at the Barber Memorial Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marie’s name to the Girl Scouts Gold Award Scholarship Fund in Region 3, Girl Scout NYPenn Pathways 8170 Thompson Road Cicero, NY 13039
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