Rhea Mae Allenstein Hoppes, 81, of Peru passed away at 5:21 p.m., Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at Lutheran Hospital in Ft. Wayne.
Born on March 9, 1939 in Gadsden, Alabama, she was the daughter of the late Leslie and Verna (Sherren) Allenstein. She was baptized on May 14, 1939 and confirmed on June 1, 1952. She was a graduate of Gadsden High School and a 1961 graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in Speech and Drama. She attended Purdue University for post-graduate courses in speech education.
Rhea married Marion G. Hoppes on June 1, 1963 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Gadsden, AL.
Rhea was a retired Speech and Drama teacher from Bunker Hill High School and assistant Speech Coach from Maconaquah High School where she was recognized as a Three Diamond Coach by the National Forensic League (NFL). She joyfully coached her own daughters during their speech team years and had a passion for instilling confidence and poise in all her students, coaching many to national finals. In 2009, Rhea was inducted into the Indiana High School Forensic Association Coaches Hall of Fame. Many students have given Rhea credit for changing the trajectory of their lives because of her tutelage and encouragement.
She was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church where she dedicated her time to serving in various ways and participating in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Many remember her for her dedication to directing the St. John’s Lutheran Church Easter Pageant. She was known for having a smile on her face and going out of her way to make others feel welcomed, included and engaged.
Through the years Rhea also worked with Dollars for Scholars, served as a volunteer for CASA and other organizations in the community.
Survivors include her daughters, Thea Scheblo (David) of Peru and Leah Hoppes (Sean Whitfield) of Utica, Illinois; grandson, Nate Scheblo; step grandson, Sean Michael Whitfield and brother, Myron K. Allenstein (Gloria) of Gadsden, Alabama. Many nieces, nephews and extended family members in Indiana and Alabama.
Rhea was also preceded in death by her husband, Marion G. Hoppes.
Private family services will be held and Rhea’s service will be live streamed at 10 AM Monday, November 23, 2020 at Riverview Funeral Home Face Book Page.
Burial will be at Roann Community Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to: St. John’s Lutheran Church, Peru, Indiana, LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) and/or The Hoppes Memorial Scholarship Fund through Northern Indiana Community Foundation.
Rhea’s online guestbook is available and condolences can be shared at www.riverviewfhperu.com.
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