Nancy Livingston Hopkins


Nancy Livingston Hopkins, 89, died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday night, December 29, 2022, in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Born in New York City on May 3, 1933, she was the daughter of Graham and Virginia (Budd) Livingston. After attending Miss Porter’s School, she graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in American Studies in 1955, and the Katherine Gibbs School a year later, then worked for the Bank of America in Paris where she cultivated a love of all things French, especially its cuisine.

In those years, the American Embassy held a 4th of July party for anyone who happened to be in Paris. There, Nancy rediscovered her Cornell friend Bob Hopkins on leave from his Army duties in Stuttgart. They married in December 1958, at the American Cathedral in Paris. After short stints in Stuttgart and Nyack, New York, Nancy and Bob settled in Manchester for the duration. They raised three children there but divorced after 25 years of marriage.

Nancy usually behaved as if she were half her chronological age. She had a knack for befriending and mentoring athletes a generation younger than she in tennis, fencing and sailing. She also loved and practiced field hockey, equestrian events, figure skating, skiing and golf. 

She made a lasting impact in Manchester by co-founding the Manchester Sailing Association in 1971 to give all kids the same access to the water that yacht club families then enjoyed. The experiment was so successful that soon thereafter, the Manchester Yacht Club merged its sailing program with the MSA to create a stronger joint program for all.

Tennis was Nancy’s signature sport, one that she played so well and so aggressively that in the early 1960’s, members of a prestigious local club felt threatened by her application and rejected it. But she mellowed slightly as the years went by. At the MAC, she played straight through the Covid pandemic with her gifted and kind pro, Tomas Hlavaty.

When full-time care became necessary, in a miracle of intergenerational friendship, her fencing friend Melissa (Brown) Landsvik and husband Trond took Nancy into their Manchester home where she spent her last 5 years close by grandchildren and local friends, warmly attended to by Tamieka Alston, her wonderful caretaker.

Nancy was pre-deceased by her parents; her beloved stepmother the actress Valerie Cossart Livingston; Bob Hopkins; and her older brother Henry Livingston.

Nancy is survived by her children Robert Hopkins and wife Patricia Guerra Cabrera and their children Carlota, Ian and Gabriel of Grand Canary Island, Spain; Douglas Hopkins and wife Victoria Hopkins and their daughters Tori and Rose of Hood River, Oregon; and Valerie Hopkins and her boys Noah and Nolan of Manchester.

Her memorial service will be held at the St. John’s Episcopal Church, 705 Hale Street, Beverly Farms on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 10 a.m. Friends and family are warmly invited to attend.