Rose Imogene ‘Jeanie’ Hobbs, longtime teacher, reading specialist, pianist, and artist, has died at 99

Rose Imogene “Jeanie” Hobbs, 99, of Philadelphia, a longtime elementary schoolteacher, reading specialist, pianist, and artist, died Sunday, April 3, of Alzheimer’s disease at Bishop White Lodge at Cathedral Village retirement community.

Raised by a mother and father who were teachers, Mrs. Hobbs taught elementary school students in West Chester, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, Del., for nearly four decades. An enthusiastic bookworm who later joined book clubs and often tore through a title a month as an adult, she became a reading specialist and delighted in helping her young students improve their vocabulary and comprehension of literature.

“Her greatest joy was seeing her students achieve,” said her son, Wil. “She She she was so friendly. She was their enabler.”

Mrs. Hobbs was also a pianist who played the organ at church and a member of the bell choir. She was an artist who worked in watercolors and pen and ink, and she became an expert in needlepoint and cross-stitch after her retirement from her.

She was active at the Chapel of the Ascension in West Chester and then at the Church of the Holy Trinity after the segregated congregations merged into an integrated parish. She helped found a Lutheran church in Germantown when she lived in Philadelphia in the 1950s and attended St. Mary’s Episcopal Church after she moved to Cathedral Village in 2000.

Mrs. Hobbs first taught at Gay Street School in West Chester, the elementary school she attended as a girl. Working alongside principal Joseph Fugett, a noted educator and civil rights activist, Mrs. Hobbs taught reading and second-grade subjects for a decade in West Chester.

She and her husband, Wilbur E. Hobbs, moved to North Philadelphia and then Germantown in the 1950s, and she worked with students at Smith, and Emlen elementary schools. They lived in Cheyney in the early 1960s, and she taught in Wilmington.

They returned to Philadelphia after a few years, lived in Society Hill, and she ended her career at McCall elementary school. She retired in 1982.

For a few years, Mrs. Hobbs taught at the same school her son attended. And while he never had her as a teacher, he lived under the threat of being sent to her if he misbehaved. I never did.

“Those who passed through her classrooms remember her as a caring and patient teacher who provided foundational educational support in their earliest school years,” her family said in a tribute.

Born Dec. 19, 1922, in West Chester, Rose Denny graduated from West Chester High School in 1940 and earned a bachelor’s degree in primary education from West Chester State Teachers College, now West Chester University, in 1944.

She met her husband, a fellow student at West Chester, and they married in 1943 and had son Wil in 1945. They lived in West Chester, North Philadelphia, Germantown, Cheyney, Society Hill, and East Falls before Mrs. Hobbs moved to Cathedral Village near Roxborough in 2000. Her husband died in 1992.

Mrs. Hobbs enjoyed music and liked to read the works of English novelist Daphne du Maurier. She was a member and officer of the residents council at Cathedral Village and a volunteer in the gift shop and library.

She liked to sit in on lectures by Cathedral Village residents who were retired professors and attended performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music and Kimmel Center. She was close to her daughter-in-law, Carolyn, and her daughter, H. Lynn Starr.

“She was always finding ways to show her artistic expression,” said her son. Her daughter-in-law de ella said: “ella She was dynamic.”

In addition to her son, daughter-in-law, and niece, Mrs. Hobbs is survived by other relatives. Her partner, Junius “Bob” Haith, and a sister died earlier.

A service is to be held at 2 pm, Saturday, May 21, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 212 S. High St., West Chester, Pa. 19382.

Donations in her name may be made to Children First, 990 Spring Garden St., Suite 200, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button