LAKELAND - Wilbur Ocie Hooks, 87, passed away on October 23, 2012.
Hooks was born in Lakeland on August 8, 1925, to Sidney and Nina Mae Hooks. He attended Dixieland Elementary, Lakeland High School and Florida Southern College. After his service in the Army Air Force as an Aviation cadet, Wilbur worked for the State of Florida throughout his career, retiring in 1987.
Wilbur is survived by his wife of 64 years, Frankie, who helped him achieve his goal of living at home until he died peacefully in his sleep. Wilbur also leaves behind a daughter, Karen, son-in-law Steve Walker, grandchildren, Bruce Letchworth, Kalei and Christie Walker, and great grandchildren. One daughter, Belinda predeceased him.
Wilbur was an Eagle Scout as a boy, a Mason as an adult and lifelong churchgoer with membership in Lake Gibson United Methodist Church for the last 40+ years. He became a computer enthusiast in his 70s with the distinction of always reading manuals, and helped with computer classes at First United Methodist Church well into his 80s. He had also been an active member of Kathleen Area Historical Society. Known for his perfectionism, dry sense of humor and many talents, Wilbur had a tool for everything. He was handyman, repairman, painter, yardman, auto mechanic and plumber. Earlier in life he enjoyed leather crafts, macramé, woodworking, square dancing and RV camping, and was an avid reader throughout life. His ice blue eyes and incredibly loud whistle entertained both the children and animals he loved. He was patient with both. He was proud of his aptitude for math and that while in school could both read and speak Latin. Wilbur was devoted to his wife and family. He nourished church life in his family, and educational and career accomplishments in his children. He was a happy, gracious and gentle man who is and will be greatly missed.
A private memorial service will be held. Donations may be sent to the Memorial Fund of Lake Gibson United Methodist Church, in memory of Wilbur O. Hooks, 4244 W. Daughtery Road, Lakeland, FL, 33809.