Deni and Rex Hooper on their wedding day | Hooper Photo
Deni and Rex Hooper on their wedding day | Hooper Photo

(Editor’s Note: Marc Hooper, who now lives in California, writes a remembrance of his mom, Deni Hooper, who would have been 95 on August 6, 2022. My family grew up with the Hoopers, and I have many fond memories of hanging around their horse barn on Kroupa Road and attending the horse shows at Bowers Harbor Park, where Deni was an announcer. Check out Deni’s cherry pie recipe here, and read this story about Deni’s mom, Florence Kneip, and her “Little Bookshop at Bowers Harbor.” There are still Hoopers on Kroupa Road; Bruce (Marc’s brother) and his wife Terry run Hooper’s Farm Gardens. -jb)

Deni Luise Kneip married Bruce Rex Hooper on Jan. 28, 1951, at the First Presbyterian Church in Lebanon, Indiana, where her family lived. He brought her north to the Old Mission Peninsula, where they farmed and raised a family of five kids on Kroupa Road, north of Bowers Harbor.

Help Support Old Mission Gazette - Click Here

Deni and Rex Hooper on their wedding day | Hooper Photo
Deni and Rex Hooper on their wedding day | Hooper Photo

Deni was born on August 6, 1927, and never failed to mention to us kids that on that day in 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan. A second bomb called “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9 helping to shorten the war in the Pacific significantly.

When I received my draft notice in 1972, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. After completing boot camp, I was assigned to the 1st Marine Air Wing in Iwakuni Japan, with an immediate transfer to “The Rose Garden” – my mother loved to grow roses, so why not?

Turns out The Rose Garden is a nice name for the 1st Marine Air Wing base in Nam Phong, Thailand. If you like jet fighter aircraft, and I do, this would have been a place for you at that time – toward the end of the Vietnam War.

As many of you may know, Deni loved to take pictures. Her one request of me as I left for Japan was to purchase a camera for her that we hoped would be less expensive there than in the United States. Upon returning to Japan, I searched for and found an SLR camera – a Canon F-1, which I had shipped to her.

Once the Marine Corps closed The Rose Garden, the task force moved back to Japan. When this happened, I discovered that Iwakuni was only 22 or so miles south of Hiroshima. So, on a Saturday in the Fall of 1973, a fellow Marine and I bought round trip tickets and took a narrow-gauge train ride up to Hiroshima. I am including three pictures from that visit.

Pictured, Marc Hooper at Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan, in the Fall of 1973. This is the site of the August 6, 1945 atomic bomb detonation ("Little Boy"), the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II | Hooper Photo
Marc Hooper at Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan, in the Fall of 1973. This is the site of the August 6, 1945 atomic bomb detonation (“Little Boy”), the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II. Peace Park is a place set aside to remember that day and its impact on the Japanese people. More recent photos indicate that the site has changed a lot over the years | Hooper Photo
Two young women at the Peace Park shrine, built in remembrance of all those who died in the Hiroshima explosion and its aftermath. The shrine holds thousands of little Origami birds to honor each person killed, either from injuries at the time or later due to exposure from the atomic blast | Hooper Photo
Two young women at the Peace Park shrine, built in remembrance of all those who died in the Hiroshima explosion and its aftermath. The shrine holds thousands of little Origami birds to honor each person killed, either from injuries at the time or later due to exposure from the atomic blast | Hooper Photo
"Fat Boy," detonated some distance above the building in the photo | Hooper Photo
“Zero Point” for the US bombardier who dropped the atomic bomb “Fat Boy” over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The bomb was detonated some distance above the building in the photo | Hooper Photo

Editor’s Note: Here is the wedding announcement of Rex and Deni Hooper in the Traverse City Record-Eagle, Feb. 1, 1951, courtesy of Newspapers.com. -jb

Rex and Deni Hooper wedding announcement; Traverse City Record-Eagle, Feb. 1, 1951 | Newspapers.com
Rex and Deni Hooper wedding announcement; Traverse City Record-Eagle, Feb. 1, 1951 | Newspapers.com

We Need Your Support!

Old Mission Gazette is a reader-supported newspaper, and we need your ongoing support to keep delivering OMP news, history, photos, events and more. Owners Tim and Jane Boursaw are devoted to the Old Mission Peninsula community, and every contribution, big or small, is valuable. Click HERE to support Old Mission Gazette. Thank you!


Bay View Insurance in Traverse City Michigan

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
  
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.