1924 – 2021

Robert O. Hooper Jr., 97 years old, better known to all as Dad Hooper passed away May 29, 2021.  

As he walked up the gang plank to heaven he asked “permission to come aboard,” Jesus stretched his arms open and said “welcome aboard sailor”.  Mom Hooper was there beside him with tears of joy in her eyes.  They are reunited again.

Robert (Bob) was born January 15, 1924 in Braddock, PA.  He was the oldest of four children.  He met the love of his life Caroline (Carrie) Taylor in grade school and married her in June 1943. Bob joined the Navy just after graduation from high school and served proudly aboard the air craft carrier Yorktown CV.10.  Dad Hooper was first class ordinance man crew chief of 6 men in charge of loading ordinance on 6 fighters.  He was a plank owner and has a seat of honor on the Yorktown, now a museum at Patriots Point, SC.  He was nominated for two silver stars. Serving in the Pacific in some of the worst battles.  The carrier was hit and was brought into Bremerton, WA for repairs and Bob road the train across country to PA, to see his bride Carrie.  He came thru Whitefish and said what a beautiful place Montana was.

He was on the railroad in PA, worked at an ice cream plant and had a son Robert T. Hooper better known as Bob.  The 3 of them moved to Florida in 1952 where he worked for Sears and Roebuck. Bob married Cheri and they moved to Kalispell, (Cows Bell) Montana in 1974 and bought the old Pierces Nursery.  Dad retired from Sears and Roebuck and the Ft. Lauderdale Fire Department (20 years) and Mom retired as a teacher and they moved to Kalispell to help their kids.  They said they’d give them five years.  Dad did all the odd jobs and Carrie kept the books.  They were on their 9th installment of the five year plan. Mom and Dad Hooper were very instrumental in helping build and running the family business of Hoopers Garden Center.  In latter years, you could see Dad sitting in his rocker answering the phones and talking to customers.  He was an icon at Hoopers.

He was proceeded in death by his wife of 74 years Carrie and is survived by one sister Agnes and her husband John, one sister-in-law Harriet and her husband Paul both in Florida, and numerous nieces and nephews.   Their son Bob and his wife Cheri, two grandsons Mark and his wife Kari and Matt and his wife Tanya.  Two great grandchildren Shelby and Brock and Mileah and Olympia.

Per Dads wishes there will be no funeral he will have a small private grave side service and be buried with military honors.  In lieu of flowers you can donate to Hospice or the Veterans Pantry in Kalispell. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory are caring for the family.