Estella, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, after a short hospital stay. She was 85 years old.
Estella was born on April 4, 1934 in Sulphur Springs, AR to Ray and Lucy (Brown) Shields. She was married to Richard McCrady on senior ditch day in 1952. Together, they raised four sons, Richard, Michael, Patrick, and Dan and one daughter, Susan. After the death of her husband, she married Wilbur Hopkins and gained another son, John.
Estella had a love for children. She was a teacher for the Gilroy Unified School District for 20 years working as an aid in the special needs classroom. She had a passion for teaching children about Jesus. She taught in Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and was a children’s leader in Bible Study Fellowship for many years. She loved to take long scenic drives and trips to the coast as well as spend time with her family. Estella served her community over many years.
She volunteered at St. Stephen’s Resource Center, Saint Joseph’s Family Center, and the Gilroy Armory Homeless Shelter. In 1996, Estella and Wilbur were awarded the Good Egg Award from the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce for their service to the community.
She is survived by her children and their spouses: Susan (Harvey) Whitney and John (Kathy) Hopkins (all of Gilroy), Richard (Mary) McCrady, Patrick (Kristin) McCrady and Dan (Kathy) McCrady (all of Windsor), and Michael (Diane) McCrady (of Hudson, NY) along with 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, August 10th, 2019 at the First Baptist Church, Gilroy at 11 a.m.
Estella was our dear friend that we knew for some 18 years after moving to Gilroy in 2001. She faithfully participated with us each Friday over those years at the Gilroy Healthcare Center where we had a weekly ministry of Christian songs and a devotional. She was my mother-in-law’s best friend. We will miss Estella but look forward to seeing her again in heaven. (s/ Jim & Diana Fennell and Melba McMichael)