Russell W. Hooper Jr.
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Indian Harbour Beach
Russell W. Hooper, Jr., known to his loved ones as Ross, Honeycito, the Grand Poobah, and most especially Grampita, passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in Reno, Nev. He was 70.
Russ will be greatly missed by his two daughters, Kathi and Kerry; his sons-in-law, Rob Landers and Cort Sutton; the lights of his life, his granddaughters, Madi, Sara, Anna and Eva; his cousin, Joyce Williams; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Russ was born in Bronx, NY, and grew up in Sarasota. He graduated from Troy State University in Alabama. After college, he joined the Navy and met his beautiful island girl, Glory. They were married in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1969. Russ received his master's degree from the American University in Washington, DC while working in the burgeoning space program. He earned a Silver Snoopy award for his work on the Apollo program and earned several achievement awards from NASA for his work on the Apollo 17, Apollo-Soyuz and Skylab missions. After a successful career with various electronics and defense companies, Russ retired from Harris in 2005 in order to become a full-time grandpa. He was well known among the moms and nannies at school, ballet classes, diving lessons and birthday parties.
Russ was a huge sports fan and rooted for the Florida Gators, New York Yankees and Washington Redskins with unmatched enthusiasm. His children and grandchildren benefited from his passion for sports and from him, learned how to run a football pool, calculate a batting average and swing an invisible golf club.
Russ was incredibly proud to have been installed as the Exalted Ruler of the Melbourne Elks Lodge 1744 in March of this year. He was committed to the mission of the Elks and worked tirelessly to promote their ideals of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity.
Russ will be remembered for his loud voice and silent laugh, his generous spirit, his compassionate heart, his wise leadership and his unwavering devotion to his family and friends. We are confident that he is in heaven reunited with his beloved wife Glory, fishing with his brothers, Billy, Bobby and his brother in law Papote, and petitioning for Tiger Wood's comeback.
We would like to thank Dr. Charles Stewart, Dr. Dan Segina, Russ' family at the Melbourne Elks Lodge 1744, and Brownlie Maxwell Funeral Home.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 10 at 11 a.m. at the Elks Lodge 1744, 211 Neiman Ave., Melbourne.
Russ' children and grandchildren know that he would want us to remember him by "paying it forward".
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Melbourne Elks Lodge 1744, PO Box 1416, Melbourne, FL 32902-1416.
Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home
1010 Palmetto Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Aug. 4, 2013