Services for Benjamin Ross Hooker, Jr. 90, of Lufkin, will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 in the Gipson Funeral Home Chapel, with Keith Jones and Luther Bolenbarker officiating. Interment will follow in the Garden of Memories Memorial Park. Mr. Hooker was born January 31, 1923 in Broaddus, Texas, but grew up in San Augustine, son of the late Ora (Wells) and Benjamin Ross Hooker Sr. He passed away Thursday, August 29, 2013 in a local nursing facility. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Betty; daughters, Cecilia Johnson and Pam Strickland; son-in-law Larry Strickland; grandsons, Chad and Chris Johnson, Eric and Danny Strickland; great-granddaughter Annabelle Johnson. He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Rudy and James Hooker and his son-in-law Myrl Johnson, Jr. Mr. Hooker was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He practiced his Christian faith and was a man of great integrity, principle, and humility. Mr. Hooker was a descendent of the original New England British colonists as well as Stephen F. Austin's 'Old 300.' He was also a member of FDR's NYA. He was the 'salt of the earth' and a member of the dwindling 'Greatest Generation.' He served his country in the United States Air Corps in the European Theatre in England and France. He was awarded the EAME Ribbon w/4 Bronze stars, the American Theatre Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and 3 overseas service bars. He was a participant in the D-Day invasion, keeping an extensive scrapbook of historical pictures and mementoes including Dwight Eisenhower's original letter to his troops telling them that 'the eyes of the world are upon you.' His oral recollections of the war are on record in the Library of Congress. After traveling through France from Normandy to Marseilles, he was then trained for a land invasion of Japan. Fortunately V-J Day occurred before he had that 'opportunity.' Mr. Hooker was able to return to England for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, visiting with wartime friends and comrades, and to England and all five beaches of Normandy for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Pallbearers will be Chad and Chris Johnson, Larry Hooker, Buddy Williams, Danny Strickland, and Cody Capps. He will be buried with military honors by the United States Air Force. The family would like to invite family and friends to a reception at the Senior Citizens Center on Valley Drive, following the funeral and interment. Condolences may be offered at www.gipsonfuneralhome.com. Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.
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Published in The Lufkin Daily News from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5, 2013