In New Orleans, Activist and Episcopal deacon Lydia Hopkins dies

Lydia Elliott Hopkins, an Episcopal deacon and longtime activist who plunged into volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans, died Aug. 8 of a heart attack while on vacation with her family at Grayton Beach, Fla. She was 63.

Shortly after the storm struck in August 2005, Deacon Hopkins organized volunteers at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Uptown New Orleans, where she was a member, and set up a program to provide free meals to people uprooted by the storm.

In 2008, she started working at All Souls Episcopal Church in the Lower 9th Ward, which had been especially hard-hit. Deacon Hopkins, a skilled cook and baker, organized food and housing programs and taught classes in creative writing and Bible studies, said Jessica White-Sustaita, one of her daughters.

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