Making Democracy Work

In Memoriam

Charlotte Hunt, 2016.

A founding member of the League of Women Voters of Kent County, Charlotte served as president and secretary, among other offices, and she held various portfolios over the years. Interested in promoting informed voting, she instituted candidates night debates and served as voter registration chair for decades.

A courageous, fair-minded woman, Charlotte was a determined supporter of human rights. She worked for civil rights in Dover during the '50s and '60s, when it took courage, and she was a delegate to the Episcopal National Convention that approved the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop.

A dedicated Christian, she served her church as a licensed lay reader, chalice bearer, altar guild member, delegate to several state conventions, and vestry member, among other positions, for over 60 years. She was on the executive committee of the Christian Women's Union for many years, and the CWU honored her special contributions at an award luncheon. Charlotte was a Coast Guard Auxiliary member for other 30 years, holding many positions with that organization, among them president.

She could always be depended on to help, whether with a new project or a creative idea to help a cause. Charlotte was meticulous in attention to detail, dedicated to furthering the cause, and totally reliable.

Charlotte is a person to be honored because she was a leader in her church life and in the wider world.

Ruth Ann Johnson, 2016.

Ruth Johnson was an original. She was a collector of people and had friends around the world. She and Ralph entertained endless families over the course of their lives, and Ruth seemed happiest when surrounded by friends. Ruth was a kind and nurturing person. If you were returning from a long journey, you could expect a call inviting you to dinner so you didn't have to cook while tired from traveling. If you were single, she might ask if you had somewhere to go on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and if you didn't, would invite you to her home to share a delicious holiday dinner.

On Christmas, there would be carol sings over the course of several evenings, and everyone would come for a pancake breakfast on other holidays. There was a constant flow of people on their doorstep.

She was active in many organizations. A long-time member of Pacem in Terris, she was recognized for her contributions at an annual banquet. She'll be long remembered for selling and distributing lovely, fragrant balsam fir Christmas wreaths sold by Pacem to support craftspeople in Central America. Ruth was an unwavering supporter of the United Nations, holding the UN chair on the boards of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. She organized bus trips to the UN each January for many years, managing to convince a busload of people to rise early on a winter morning to ride to NYC. Ruth participated in and led marches in support of peace on earth, and she took part in many silent vigils for peace.

It was evident that she had been a Physical Education major in college. Ruth played tennis at a local tennis club until a knee became troublesome when she was in her 80s. And she played killer table tennis; once she was a contestant at a Senior Olympics table tennis tournament in China. She seemed indefatigable.

Ruth started a Great Decisions group with some of her friends, and for years, the group met for potluck suppers once a month, enjoying company, good food, and lively discussions. Ruth Johnson, 2016. Ruth was a Friends peace activist and constantly, for many years, brought petitions for us all to sign. Whenever you saw Ruth, you saw a large bag or two filled with papers to be circulated and signed. It was hard to say no to her because she was so passionate and thought everyone should think just the way she did. She was often quoted in the paper on her special issue, world peace, and along with her husband, Ralph, wrote many, many letters to the editor in support of peace. Ruth did not see the need for military spending when there were so many hungry people in the world.

India had Gandi and Dover had Ruth to lead the way to social consciousness.

Helen Hoffman, 2014.

Helen Hoffman, recent LWVNCC board member and Voter Service Chair, had dedicated much of her time to registering voters in the last two elections, working on the Vote411 on-line voters guide, and helping to arrange and work at the recent Newark candidate forums along with her committee. Helen Hales Hoffman, age 76, passed away at home on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 with her husband, son, and daughter at her side. She had battled Multiple Myeloma cancer for more than eight years, though it never got in the way of her being an enthusiastic mother, teacher, and volunteer. Helen was born in Pottsville, PA, to the late Bertha Everett Hales and Ralph Alonzo Hales, and grew up in West Chester, PA. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Helen taught piano, music Braille, and music history for three years at the Maryland School for the Blind, and piano at the Peabody Preparatory School before joining the faculty at West Chester University's School of Music. She went on to work as an associate professor of piano for 17 years at the University. Helen met her husband, Bruce, in theWilmington Trail Club, and they were married in 1976. In 1979, she retired from the University to raise her children and focus on her private Suzuki piano studio at her home in Wilmington, DE. Helen worked tirelessly for organizations of which she was a member, only retiring from her volunteer positions in the last months of her illness. Most recently she served on the board of the Delaware State Music Teachers Association and the board of the New Castle County League ofWomen Voters. She also tutored students at Lancashire Elementary School. In 1990, she was one of the driving forces behind the Red Clay Music Boosters, raising funds to bring the music programs back to public schools. Helen also remained passionate about music, teaching her last lesson to a former student only days before her passing.