Peter Oliver Hooper

Peter Oliver Hooper died on April 8, 2018 at the age of 84. Peter was born in Portland, Maine on February 23, 1934. He graduated from Lexington, MA High School. Pete went to the Boston School of Fine Arts in Boston, MA and Edison College in Fort Myers, FL.

He was in the Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in Trpoli Libya, North Africa where his first wife, Geri, eventually came to be with him and his first daughter, Patricia, was born.

While he was there, a movie company was making a movie and they needed a backdrop of Roman Ruins for a drive by which Pete spray painted for them and got paid for the project. He worked for the PX for awhile after getting out of the service over there, but at all holidays Pete was the decorator. He also could speak 5 languages – French, German, Italian and Arabic.

After returning to the states, the family moved to Sequoit, New York where he joined a band called the Country Pulsations playing a Hammond B3 organ. He also could play the guitar, banjo and a tiny piano playing ragtime. He played by ear and only had to hear a song once.

There was nothing he could not do or learn because he was a Whitney. His grandmother was the 3rd great grandchildren of Eli Whitney. His main profession was a sheet metal mechanic, he was a plumber, a welder, a carpenter and a graphics illustrator. He wrote a news letter for the neurologists at Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers, FL, so he knew all about Parkinson's disease. He also worked with a neurologist at Lee who wanted to make a pill container for taking the medicine for Parkinson's. This he did with a computer program called Coral Draw.

His passion though was playing the keyboard and singing and being an artist. He wrote poetry and songs, one about his Parkinson Disease that he sang at the Parkinson Symposiums and one love song he did copywrite. He opened for Ernest Tubb in New York and played with Frankie Yankovic. Pete wrote songs about other friends as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver Furbish Hooper and Sarah H. (Smith) Hooper.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lee (Jokerst) Hooper, who was his care giver for 17-1/2 years making sure he got his medication for Parkinson's which he was in his 38th year with this disease. He is also survived by his first wife, Geri Levy, two daughters, Patricia Brown in Bozeman, Montana and Rebecca Hooper Whitney in Ft. Meyers, FL and one grandson, Rex Shevitski in Montana. Rex is also a graduate of Montana State University. He is also survived by two sisters, Betsy Goss in Maine and Nancy Penley in Bedford, MA, numerous nieces and nephews and and many friends.

Memorial visitation will be from 10:30am to 11:30am on Friday May 11, 2018 at Barry Wilson Funeral Home, followed by a memorial service at 11:30am with Rev. Katie Jo Bielke officiating.  Burial with military honors will be in Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.

Memorials may be made to Parkinson Foundation or St. John United Church of Christ Choir.


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