March 18, 1923 – December 9, 2020
Odell Hooper, of Duncan, Oklahoma, left this world to be reunited with his beloved wife of 65 years, Imaree Burgin Hooper, and the heavenly father on December 9, 2020.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, December 12, at 1:30 P.M. in the Whitt Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Randy Southerland officiating. Military honors will be presented by the US Air Force Honor Guard. Interment will be in the Duncan Municipal Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Whitt Funeral Home.
He was born on March 18, 1923, to Arch Lee and Maggie Suddeth Hooper in Hastings, Oklahoma. He grew up In Hooperville, west of Waurika, as the eleventh of fourteen children. All of his 6 brothers and 7 sisters have preceded him in death.
When he was 14 years old, he moved to California where he worked in a wrecking yard and then later at Douglas Aircraft. In 1942 he joined the Army Air Corps and served his country during World War II. On March 8, 1944, while flying a mission as the top turret gunner in a B-24 bomber, the “Portland Anne”, they dropped their payload of 500-pound bombs over Berlin, in heavy flak. With his aircraft severely damaged and unable to return to base, he and his crew bailed out of the plane landing well behind enemy lines, in Holland. Odell freezing and scared took refuge in a haystack. He was discovered the next day by the farmer who recognized him as an allied soldier and incorporated the help of another farmer who spoke English, the men reached out to The Resistance, who provided him and another wounded airman with fake passports and together they moved slowly toward Antwerp, Belgium where they were to take a train to France and freedom. However, on July 12th the two were apprehended by the Germans, in Antwerp Belgium. He served the remainder of the War in a POW camp in Poland.
Odell served his country as part of the “Greatest Generation” in true Hooper fashion. His guiding principles were loyalty, honor, courage, integrity, and commitment to fairness. His love of family, God and Country were obvious to all who knew him.
After the war, he moved to Duncan, OK where he met a beautiful young lady, wearing green shoes, at the local bowling alley. She was Imaree Burgin and became the love of his life. They were married on February 8, 1947 and enjoyed 65 wonderful years together.
Odell worked at Montgomery Ward where he retired as manager of the automotive department after 32 years. He then realized he was not ready to retire, so he obtained his real estate license and sold property around the Waurika Lake Reservoir Project for 20 years.
Odell was a modest man, whose only indulgences, included golfing at the Elk’s Golf and Country club and playing a game of pool with friends at the Duncan senior citizens center.
He is survived by his only daughter, Patricia Ann (Pat) Hooper of the home and his dog Lady who was his constant companion. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, friends and other relatives who loved him dearly. He was, and shall always be, our hero.
Rest in Peace, Odell, you have so earned it. We will always love you.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.whittfh.com.