Lloyd Darrel Hooper passed peacefully from this earth into the loving arms of Jesus on December 21, 2017, surrounded by his family, at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Washington. Lloyd was born on October 6 1931, to James Washington Hooper and Vashti (Harper) Hooper at the family home in Marblemount, Washington. Lloyd attended the one room Rocky Creek grade school in Rockport through the sixth grade, graduated from Concrete High School in 1949, and attended Western Washington University 1949-1950.
Lloyd served in the United States Army from April 1, 1952 to March 31, 1955. Serving three years in the Army Security Agency with 329 Communication Reconnaissance one mile behind the front lines, Lloyd provided signal intelligence through Morse Code interception. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal. He chose, rather than continuing a military career in national security, to return home, resuming his job with Seattle City light. Ever honor bound, Lloyd did not speak of his responsibilities during this time until years later, when the activities of the U.S. Army Security Agency were partially declassified. Lloyd was passionately patriotic and honored to have served his country. He was a longtime member of the George Baldridge Post 43 American Legion in Sedro-Woolley and the Eagles, Aerie 3242 in Burlington and a life member of the VFW Post in Sedro-Woolley.
Lloyd met the one true love of his life, Fern Weaver, at the March of Dimes dance in Newhalem in March of 1956. They went on their first date the following month, and married on July 31, 1956, in Mount Vernon, WA. They were married three months after having met, and celebrated 61 years together this last July.
Lloyd began his career with Seattle City Light in the summer of 1950 working as a gandy dancer on the railroad to the Seattle Hydroelectric Project in Newhalem. After they were married, Lloyd and Fern moved into Newhalem. Lloyd coached the Little League team, the Kilowatt Kids, during this time. In August 1961, the family moved to Seattle to pursue an opportunity for warehouse advancement and, in 1964, the family returned to Newhalem with Lloyd in charge of the warehouse. As Seattle’s plans to move toward automation began to materialize, many families moved downriver, and the Hooper family moved to Burlington in 1974. As is the case with most everyone who had the good fortune to live in Newhalem and Diablo in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, time spent as a family in the Skagit Project continues to hold a dear place in our hearts. After 30 years as warehouse foreman in Newhalem, Lloyd retired from Seattle City Light in 1981. He subsequently worked at Bargreens Restaurant Supply and H Bean Hardware, fully retiring in 1996.
From an early age, music has been an important part of Lloyd’s life. He began entertaining at the age of three years old, when his Dad took him to Rockport to sing Red River Valley to the community. While a freshman at WWU, Lloyd entered the all school talent competition, winning first place by playing guitar and singing Molly Darling and was invited back for an encore performance the following year to rousing ovation. He appeared on the Chubby Howard television show in 1962. For 60 years, Lloyd Hooper (bass guitar) and the Cascade Ramblers entertained three generations with classic country and country swing music. He was a charismatic entertainer, with a deep and resonant voice that did not falter through the years. Lloyd counted the times that he played music at Currier Hall, the Rockport Picnic, Cascade Days, and the many charitable benefits as highlights of his musical career. Clint (vocals and drums) and Cindy (vocals) had the honor of sharing the stage with their father. Lloyd was proudly inducted, on initial nomination, into three Country Swing Hall of Fames; Western Swing Music Society of Seattle on Aug 14, 2005, Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest ( Oklahoma) July 21, 2007, and Sacramento Western Swing Society October 7, 2007. He thoroughly enjoyed entertaining, and he truly cherished the friendships that were formed throughout his music years. On March 2016, Lloyd decided to hang up the guitar and retired from professional music. He delighted in being home with his “special lady”, whom he dearly cherished, and spending time with his family.
Lloyd and Fern enjoyed family gatherings, road trips, time away at the Tollavanah Inn, and yearly camping trips to Marble Creek Campground. Lloyd also enjoyed working outdoors, gardening, and diligently attempting to keep the mole population of Cohoe Drive under control. He enjoyed the internet and was a world traveler, courtesy of Google Earth.
Over the years, Lloyd joyfully accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, and was recently baptized. On December 14 2010, after a miraculous healing of stage 4 colon cancer, lyrics and melody came to Lloyd…“ I’ll be here when the sun comes up tomorrow, I’ll be here to hold your hand forever”… Lloyd interpreted this as Jesus’ message to him, and his message to his wife, Fern. At the time of his passing, Lloyd was at peace and looked forward to seeing Jesus and his family that is waiting in Heaven. We will miss him, we will miss his huge presence, and we will miss his sense of humor. We are grateful to have had him for 86 years, and we look forward to seeing him again.
Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents, James and Vashti Hooper and his brother, Fred. He is survived by his wife, Fern; children Connie Keele, Cindy (Al) Hooper-DeLeon, and Clinton Hooper; grandchildren Jacob (Cindy)Keele and Courtney Keele, great grandchildren Megan, Monica, and Lauryn Keele; cousin June Hooper, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Lloyd and his family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the following:
Physicians Dr Mehrdad Jafari, Dr. Kamol Lo, Dr. Mansel Kevwitch, Dr. Morris Johnson, Dr. Dawei Lu, our beloved Dr. Richard Gross, and all other physicians who have cared for him throughout the years, for their excellent care and compassion. Lloyd counted you among his friends.
The oncology, cardiology, and urology clinical and ancillary staff, whom he appreciated so very much. You made difficult situations easier.
All those at Skagit Valley Hospital staff who cared for Lloyd over the years and during his final admission, you made a difference.
Lemley Chapel, thank you for your assistance and kindness during this difficult time.
To each and every friend, Lloyd asked that we let you know how much he appreciated and enjoyed your friendship throughout the years. You are in so very many fond memories.
At Lloyd’s request, there will be no services at this time. A spring or summer memorial is likely, the family will notify everyone well in advance.
Lloyd and Fern’s children would like to publicly thank our parents for loving and respecting each other so fiercely. We grew up safe in the knowledge that we were loved, protected, and cared for. We couldn’t love you more.