Remembering Johns Hopkins
Before the ceremony, Kathy
Vitarelli and her daughter, Hannah Coates, examine the
tombstones of various members of the Hopkins family. Johns
Hopkins' grave is second from front.
PHOTO BY LARRY CANNER
On a crisp Christmas Eve morning, a dedicated band of
Johns Hopkins devotees gathered at Green Mount Cemetery to
remember the benefactor of the university and hospital that
bear his name. Hopkins, who died on Christmas Eve in 1873,
was memorialized by Ross Jones, vice president and
secretary emeritus of the university, who read excerpts
from the lengthy and fascinating obituary that ran in The
Baltimore Sun. In what has become a tradition, many
attendees marked the occasion by leaving a coin on Hopkins'
grave, an act thought to bring good luck in the new year.
Among those at the graveside gathering were Stephanie and
Howard Reel, Charles Phlegar, Elaine Freeman, Wilson Rugh
and Anne Garside.
The $7 million estate left by Hopkins in equal parts
to the two institutions was, at the time, the largest
philanthropic bequest in U.S. history. Its value today,
Jones said, would be about $154 million.
To read the obituary that appeared in The Sun
on Dec. 25, 1873, go to
GO TO JANUARY 9,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
GO TO THE GAZETTE