GREENSBORO — Rebecca Lyn Hopkins Sarver died of ovarian cancer a few weeks ago.
Her “Random Acts of Kindness Wednesdays” might just live on through those who knew her best.
“I know Rebecca would be happy about that,” said her friend, Maria D. Pujols, who recently moved to California and is spreading the effort there. “She was the best person to be around because of her spirit.”
The 47-year-old wife and mother often wrote reminders on social media encouraging others to do something to help someone else. She wrote in September:
“I can tell you that the days that are my darkest, what pulls me out is doing for others.”
This one is from June 2015: ”God gave us hearts for a reason.”
Sarver, who died Oct. 22, will be eulogized at 2 p.m. today at Lawndale Baptist Church.
A mortgage loan officer for BB&T, the Page High graduate and runner was first told of her disease in 2015. She later underwent a hysterectomy and chemotherapy treatments, but she kept running.
Eventually, she ran races again.
“You can get back to normal, the new normal,” Sarver told the News & Record later that year, “but life keeps going and you can do all the same things you did.”
Eventually, cancer came back.
Even as she had her own battles, she thought of others.
“She has always been one of those people who got so much more enjoyment about doing something for someone else,” said Dean Sarver, her husband of 21 years.
Like when she gave a hug to a coffee shop barista wearing a cancer survivor shirt, which left them both in tears.
Or noticing the car in front of her being driven erratically and then following the driver to the shoulder of the road.
“I would get on her, but she had a good sense for some of that stuff,” Dean said. “He was having a medical problem, and she sat with him until the ambulance came.”
More recently, a friend was visiting from Virginia. By this time, it was difficult for Rebecca, who was under hospice care, to get around. When others couldn’t find a gift she had gotten for the woman, she wanted to be taken downstairs, where she indeed found it.
“Her friend’s dog had died and it was something to signify the love this woman had for her pet,” Dean said. “She thought it was so special.
“That was my wife.”
Rebecca’s last act: asking people who planned to send flowers to instead donate money to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro or the SPCA of Greensboro.
“Rebecca was one of those people who just radiated love from the inside out,” friend Jill Campbell Hodge said. “The world lost a sweet spirit, but heaven surely gained one.”