Obituary of Bertha Rebecca Hompland Hughes Hartogs
August 21, 2018
Funeral Services for Rebecca Hughes- Hartogs will be held at 2pm on Friday, August 24, 2018 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley. Graveside Services will follow at New Elm Ridge Cemetery.
Rebecca was born in Hunan, China. Her parents, Lars and Anna Hompland, were Lutheran missionaries from Minnesota. Lars was born in Norway and Anna (Ronning) was born in what is now South Dakota. Rebecca was the eldest of four daughters, Irene, Ruth and Ragna being her much loved younger sisters who have all predeceased her. They attended boarding school in China and later college. Rebecca graduated from St. Olaf College. She received her Masters Degree in Psychiatric Social Work from Columbia University. She married David Hughes Hartogs in 1942 and after World War II lived with him in New York City, where their son Dirk was born in 1947. Their daughter Lauren, was born in 1952.
The family moved to Palo Alto in 1955, and shortly thereafter Rebecca and David were divorced. Rebecca applied for and received a Fulbright Grant to work in Lahore, Pakistan, teaching at Punjab University, in 1958. This grant was renewed and was followed by State Department employment as liaison with the Pakistan Government. Dirk and Lauren entered Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India. When she returned to the United States in 1964, she settled in Grass Valley, California. She was a senior administrator/researcher at DeWitt State Hospital in Auburn.
When the State began preparations to build a freeway between Grass Valley and Nevada City in 1966, they condemned a number of old homes. Rebecca bought a beautiful Craftsman style home that was built just before 1920. She paid $600. She bought 5 acres of beautiful woodland and had the house moved. The house was cut into two pieces and then reassembled on the site.
After DeWitt Hospital was closed, Rebecca worked for Sacramento County and private facilities, retired, and began private practice, working with children.
She always enjoyed them and was delighted when she became the adopted grandmother for Dirk's three stepchildren,Thane, Sean and Lindsay.
She bought a townhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland and spent part of each year there, both with graduate students and as a volunteer with university researchers. She again traveled throughout Europe and was in Berlin the day the Wall came down. She decided to sell the townhouse and move on when she turned eighty.
Rebecca has always enjoyed world adventure and has seen more places than most of us dream about. After her second retirement she set out to see some of the places she missed, or wished to see again. Even while in her nineties she made significant journeys. She traveled the entire length of Norway, stopping along the way to visit with cousins. She later returned to Northern China and Mongolia to visit her birthplace. There she was made welcome by the locals and given a celebrity's welcome. She also visited Iceland in those years.
Mrs. Hughes Hartogs is survived by her son Dirk Hartogs (Linda Keilers) of Morgan Hill, California, her daughter Lauren Allcott (Ron) of Battleground, Washington. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Thane Koontz, Sean Koontz, Lindsay Keilers and by three great grandchildren. She has a number of nieces and nephews and was particularly close to Miriam Skaggs and Kimberly and Linden Welch.
Arrangements are under direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.