Kathleen Rebecca Hipkins

Mt. Pero Baptist Church Cemetery

        Kathleen Rebecca Hipkins was born april 2, 1928 in Powhatan, VA. and departed this life May 18, 2007. She was 79 years young.

        She was the only daughter of the late Frank Venable Vaughn and Francis Coy Vaughn. She enjoyed her childhood as a tomboy, playing in the woods with her brothers, Harry, Frank, and Robert. Kathleen always excelled in academics and graduated valedictorian from Pocahontas High School in 1944. After graduation, Kathleen's father sent her to live with his sister Kate, in Newark, NJ.

        In Newark, Kathleen did piece work for several companies. Always quick with her hands, she was a standout worker, earning enough money for frequent visits home to Powhatan. She also sent home enough money to have her parents' home wired for electricity. No more kerosene lamps!

        Kathleen's first marriage to Ike Singleton, in 1945, ended amicably. Ike and his family considered Kathleen a member of their family to the end. Kathleen's second marriage to Conrad Hipkins, in 1958 produced two children, Conrad Kenneth and Audrey Cassandra. During this marriage, Kathleen was an enthusiastic mother, involved in numerous school, local, and civic activities. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Girl Scout Cadet Leader and Candy Striper at the local hospital.

        After moving to Washington, DC, Kathleen joined Peoples Congregational Church. She was one of their first female ushers, where she was known for 'tipping down the isle'. She acquired her BS in Computer Science from Federal City College graduating near the top of her class. Preferring people to machines, Kathleen elected to work with college co-op students at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center.

        After the death of her mother, Kathleen returned to Powhatan. Earning a degree in Nursing, again graduating near the top of her class, Kathleen worked in various nursing fields, settling in geriatics. She worked in nursing for over twenty years, retiring at age 77. She led a busy life in Powhatan, a major presence and deaconess at Mt. Pero Baptist Church, At many other area churches, Kathleen was a popular emcee. Kathleen was a member of the NAACP, served on the Powhatan County Planning Board, a volunteer nurse for the Head Start Program, a Foster Grandparent, and assisted other senior citizens in their day-to-day affairs.

        Kathleen is survived by her son, Conrad Kenneth; her daughter, Audrey; a grandson, Conrad Landon; a granddaughter, Kathleen Janay; a brother, Robert; nieces, Mary Eddleton and the Hipkins clan - Deborah, Patricia, Carolyn, Marquita, and Diane; nephews, Harry Junior and James Coy, and Julian and Charles Hipkins; her dearest cousin Vassar Taylor; and many other Coy, Vaughn, Hipkins, and singleton relatives.

        To the end of her days she remained a vibrant, warm and genuine personality. As her brother Robert remarked, 'Kathleen never met a stranger'.

reprinted by permission
@ 2009 Powhatan County Historical Society. All rights reserved