Rudy Emile Hooper
Obituary and Guestbook

1986 Youtube Videos-
Our Dad performing September in the Rain and Shining Star.
Our Dad and sister performing Quando Quando Quando.

Composed by Maureen Hooper

Rudy Emile Hooper peacefully left our world on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, at 8:52 p.m., to join his parents and sisters already with the Lord. Our father's heart just couldn't struggle anymore to keep him alive. Fortunately, he did not have to leave this world all alone. As soon as we were notified that his heart was failing, five of his seven children and nine of his 11 grandchildren came to his bedside (two other sisters are out of the area/state), along with his brother, Charlie Hooper and sister-in-law Mary Ann, who sponsored us to the United States in 1962, from The Netherlands (Holland). This brought us nearly halfway around the world from where our father and the first two of his children were born, the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, where he worked for Shell Oil Co. as a radio operator. In Holland he was a member of the Royal Dutch Air Force and served as a radio operator for eight years. Our father chose to move his family of now six children, the youngest being 6 months, to America to give his children a lifetime of choices and opportunities. He was one of the most patriotic Americans you could ever meet.

We joined our uncle and aunt in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a short time, and this is where our youngest brother was born. The weather proved too cold, and two months later, both families decided to make the cross-country drive to California. He worked in various jobs in California, including the mines of Kaiser Steel and insurance sales, but he made his best friends while working at ITT Gilfillan, from which he retired in 1987. During all this time, our father's life included music. While living in Indonesia he was a band leader and had a weekly radio show. He loved arranging instruments and voices, so he started a girls' group to accompany them. Once he had his five daughters, he figured it was time to re-create the girls group, so he taught us how to harmonize on some beautiful songs. Through it all, he played guitar beautifully, both as a soloist and as an accompaniment to singers.

While he was able, he loved going to the Simi Senior Center to visit with friends and enjoy their parties and lunches. He especially enjoyed their luaus, as the memory of the tropical islands and Hawaiian music have always remained close to his heart.

While we were at his bedside, we talked to him, prayed with him, and thanked him for the wonderful life he gave us and all the ways he showed us his love. We thanked him for the great work ethic, the respect for others, the good life "habits," and the love of music he instilled in us. We will always think of him when we have our Hooper jam sessions as well as when we make the life decisions that will subconsciously consider, "What would Dad suggest?"

Fortunately, our Dad accepted Jesus Christ as his savior in June of this year, so we find great comfort in knowing that we will once again be united in Heaven. As my Dad was struggling with his breathing, we told him how wonderful that reunion would be plus that he would soon be reunited with his parents and siblings AND that he would be healthy and strong once more, able to walk without falling and dance again like Fred Astaire. (He and his dance partner took third place at the Ventura County Fair Senior Day dance contest in 1999.)

Our Dad loved life to its fullest. He was always looking for new things to learn, which, in turn, made him interesting to talk to. He especially loved coming to Oxnard and experiencing the wonderful ways our city celebrates "life" with its residents and visitors through our downtown festivals, concerts at Heritage Square, and other concerts and events at the Performing Arts Center. He was so impressed with how we celebrated the different cultures within our community. He loved going to his grandchildren's school events and performances, and he loved their friends and instructors, and they in turn, loved him. His hands-down favorite was Oxnard's Salsa Festival and its great music, dancing, and food. This year's Salsa Festival was the first one he missed since 2001, and, boy, did he regret not having the strength to be there. He loved photographing all these activities and e-mailing the photos to our relatives in Holland and on the East Coast so that they could see what a great life we have here in the United States (thanks again, Dad, and Uncle Charlie/Aunt MaryAnn).

He was preceded in death by his father, Maximillian Gerhardus Hooper and mother, Elizabeth "Titi" Ketelaar; and sisters, Zus, Ellen and Ilse, all of the Netherlands.

He is survived by brothers, Charles and Franz Hooper; daughters, Rita Eileen Plaster (husband, Eldon), Maureen Hooper, Joyce Ellen Warwick (husband, Chet), Karin Schoonover (husband, Jim), Frances Ann Gough (husband, Mike); sons, Roy Clifford Hooper and Jerry Alexander Hooper (wife, Kim); grandchildren, Tim and Joe Plaster, Amy Plaster Schultz, Justin and Jasmine Miller, Kiersa Warwick, Angelica and Ixchel Lopez, Corey Gough, Juliane and Drew Hooper; great-grandchildren, Tyson, Owen and Seth Plaster; and former wife, Elizabeth Hooper.

We would like to thank everyone who touched my Father's life and helped make it the good life that he loved. We will all miss him dearly.

A Celebration of Rudy's life led by his son Jerry was held Jerry at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008, at Cornerstone Community Church, 2080 Winifred Ave., Simi Valley.


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