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Ola M. Hooper

May 21, 1923 May 28, 2014
Ola M. Hooper
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Obituary for Ola M. Hooper

Ola Wilhoite Hooper May 21, 1923 – May 28, 2014

Our mother and stepmother Ola passed away on May 28, 2014—seven days after our celebration of her 91st birthday—in Gladwin, MI.

She was born Ola Marie Wilson in Fannin County, Georgia to Taft Wilson and Carrie Beaver. She had an older brother, Homer Taft Wilson. Her father was an itinerate blacksmith in eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia and western North Carolina. Carrie was a homemaker. During the depression, the family moved to Strawberry Plains, TN. She was a beautiful young woman and fancied herself a Southern Belle, living up the title for much of her long and full life.

A bright smile and outgoing disposition were hallmarks of her life. She made friends with everyone she met, however briefly. She kept a dog-eared, handwritten list of family and friends and unfailingly sent holiday and anniversary cards to the people on it. Until the last year or so of her life, she could recite the names and birthdates of the more than 40 cousins of her children and stepchildren’s generation. For many years, she crocheted, knitted afghans and sweaters, and made other craft items she sent around the U.S. for holiday gifts. She loved the Christmas holiday and always celebrated with fully laden Christmas trees and a completely decorated home. She also loved the color purple.

In June 1941, she married Harold Rex Wilhoite (born: August 1922—died: 31 May 1965) in Knox County, Tennessee. After Harold returned from WW II, they lived in the Strawberry Plains and eastern Knox County area. Together they had three sons, Kenneth Frederick, Harold Rex, Jr., and Elbert Hershel. In 1955, the family moved to Wayne, Michigan where Harold worked in the automobile industry until his premature death from cancer in May 1965.

In June, 1967she married widower Walter Keith Hooper in Wayne, Michigan, who survives her. Keith also had three sons, Donald Keith, Raymond Roy, and Gilbert Bruce. Their 47-year union amalgamated two extended families spread across the entire lower 48 States.

In the nearly five decades of their life together, Ola and Keith lived in Wayne, MI, Arkansas – after Keith’s retirement from GM – finally settling down in Punta Gorda, FL. In the years between, they traveled extensively around North America with their Airstream Trailer. They enjoyed square dancing and Ola loved to keep maps of their many travels. Indeed, she routinely acquired a map for the area where one or another of the children lived, and would pore over them for hours.

In 2007, with Keith 93 and Ola 86, we moved the folks to Gladwin, MI to be near Keith’s remaining family. The rest of us agree that Don and Rose Hooper earned their angel wings looking after the folks since, especially as Ola’s health declined.

Husband Keith—now 100 years old—their six sons, 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren, survive Ola who now rests in peace. As she wished, her ashes will go to Georgia and be spread under a Dogwood tree. For those who wish to, the family suggests donations in her name to a local Hospice, a worthy and caring organization.

No services are plannned


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