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img_1156884757_15673_1280529335_mod_256_324.jpgIn Loving Memory of John Ralph Browning Hooper

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of John Ralph Browning Hooper (Brownie) on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 – a lifelong resident of Sperling, Manitoba.  Dad had just turned 100 years old, and with great pleasure, enjoyed his 100th birthday celebration. Dad is now re-united with his beloved Margaret (Mom).

Left to mourn his passing are his children Gary, Lois Lecuyer (Bernard), Glen (Judy), and Phyllis Colvin (Fred), twelve grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law Jean Stevens, Olive Stewart, and Doreen Young, numerous nieces and nephews and so very many good friends.  He was predeceased by his wife and soul mate Margaret (nee Young) in 1998 and his dear sister Esther Webb in 1994.

Brownie was born in Burk’s Falls, Ontario on July 23, 1910, the only son of John Henry and Marion Browning Hooper of Sperling.  His father had homesteaded in the Sperling area in 1894.    Growing up in Sperling, he loved the farm life and as he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, attended Agriculture College in 1927.   In 1936, he married his lifemate Mary Margaret Young – they had four children.  Dad was a devoted husband and father - family was very important to him. He took over the farming operation from his father in 1943, and eventually passed the reins to his own sons.  Brownie lived on the home farm until 1974, when he and Margaret built a new home just down the road.  He resided there until 2009, at which time he moved to Parkview Manor in Carman.  Brownie happily resided a total of ninety-nine years on the Hooper farm.

Throughout his farming career, Brownie served on many boards and received numerous awards for innovative farming practices.  His was a familiar face among the pages of the local newspaper.  Dad had many talents which included woodworking (cedar chests and jewelry boxes for his granddaughters), painting (landscapes) and poetry (written for those dearest to his heart).  He was an active member in the Church as well as a respected member of the Sperling Community.  He is fondly remembered as a local Cub Scout and 4-H leader.  He was a Life Member of the Dufferin Agricultural Society, and served as President during the 1978 Carman Fair Centennial celebrations.  He was a great storyteller and believed wholeheartedly in recording historical details – all of his woodworking projects display a brass plate stating the date and for whom the item was made. 

Dad wrote a poem for his beloved wife Margaret (Mom) after she passed away.  Hereafter, we will remember the good times with our Dad as we read this very special poem. 

Do You Remember

When I go out or stay with friends, we have memories to share,

The saddest time is going home and knowing you’re not there.

I think of you with each new day, in April and December,

I wish I could turn to you and say “Do You Remember?”

We used to talk about the past and people we had known,

The problems and the happiness and how the years have flown.

So I will hold those memories and love’s undying ember,

And though I may not hear your voice, I’ll know we both remember.

Funeral services will be held at Carman United Church at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 followed by interment at SperlingCemetery and lunch at the Sperling Arena.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Carman Memorial Hospital for their tender care of Dad for the past several weeks, the dedicated care givers and staff at Parkview Manor, who helped Dad adjust to life off the farm, and to the Reverend Cathy Waldie and Reverend Harold Kenyon for their support to Dad and the family and many visits with Dad.  In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 6 Donald St. Suite 200, Winnipeg MB, R3L 0K6 or to a charity of one’s choice.