DENISON - J.W. Hoover Sr., 91, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Texoma Medical Center here in Denison, Texas.
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He leaves his wife of 67 years, Rita Jo (Dorries) Hoover; his daughter, Rita Ann Melton and her husband Ron from McKinney, Texas; son, J.W. Hoover Jr. and wife Janet from Wylie, Texas; his sisters, Ruby Mask and Adine Powell from Denison; and his brother, Bill Hoover from San Diego, Calif. He had three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and many close and dear friends.
Born on Aug. 8, 1921 in Honey Grove, one of 10 children of John Charles Hoover and Leslie Mae Holder, he was a lifelong resident of his beloved State of Texas.
In his early years, Mr. Hoover worked various jobs until he enlisted in the Texas Nation Guard at the age 19 on Nov. 20, 1940. He was shipped to the South Pacific in November 1941 and left Pearl Harbor just two days before it was bombed by the Japanese. In March 1942 he was captured by the Japanese on the island of Java and spent 3 ½ years as a prisoner of war. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery later known as the Lost Battalion and while in prison camp worked on the Burma "Death" Railroad and the Bridge over the River Kwai. He was the recipient of three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.
Upon return from the war he met the love of his life Rita Jo Dorries and they were married on March 23, 1946. He later worked for the Pool Manufacturing Company in Sherman, Texas and then ran his own clothing sales company until retirement.
After retiring in 1978 he moved to Denison, where he lived the next 35 years of his life. Jay was very active in his church, the Purple Heart Association, Ex-POW and veteran groups, and The Lost Battalion.
Mr. Hoover had a passion for helping those in need. He gave of his time and resources helping any and every one he could when the opportunity arose. His smile was infectious and if you were his friend you knew you could always count on him in your time of need. He was a humble ambassador and servant of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m. at Bratcher Funeral Home in Denison with Rev. Danny Broughton officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Denison.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.bratcherfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Herald Democrat on Apr. 19, 2013