Mother Ruby Hooper

Obituary of Mother Ruby Hooper



…And her children shall rise up and call her BLESSED.  Proverbs 31:28


Ruby Lee McGehee-Hooper, was known as “Mom”, “Grandmama”, “Mama Hooper”, “Sister”, “Aunt Ruby”, “Mother Hooper”, “dear friend”, and most of all ”BLESSED”.  She was blessed to live an abundant and fruitful life for 96 years. 

Mother Ruby Lee McGehee-Hooper went from labor to reward early Tuesday morning on May 16, 2017 surrounded by her loving family. She was born to her parents, Pastor Clarence and Annie McGehee on February 1, 1921, in Collingstown, Mississippi. She was the eldest of five children and was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Mother Hazel Jones, Mother Mattie Boyd, and Mother Josephine Boyd; and two brothers, Robert F. McGehee and Elmer “Mack” McGehee.

Shortly after graduating from Barry’s Chapel High School, in Memphis, Tennessee, she met and married Mr. Jesse Willard Hooper in 1938 and to this union, 12 children were born. After moving to Battle Creek, (with several young children in tow), she took courses in Nurses Training, where she became a full-time employee at the Battle Creek Sanitorium, where she was employed for over 15 years. She also worked at Community and Leila Hospitals for over 30 years in healthcare. Mother Hooper was a foster grandparent for more than 15 years, a job she truly enjoyed. She loved being called “Grandma Ruby” by the children.

Upon relocating to Battle Creek Michigan with her family, she became a member of Stranger’s Home Church of God in Christ, under the late Superintendent S.L. Coles, Bethlehem Temple Church of God in Christ and Hooper Temple Church of God in Christ, where she faithfully served under her husband, the late Superintendent Jesse W. Hooper. For several years, she held the position of First Lady of Grace District First Lady, in the Northeast Michigan Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ, under the late Bishop C.J. Johnson and Bishop P.A. Brooks. She became a member of Sanctuary of Praise, under Pastor Harrison LeMon and later joined Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of her son, Pastor Joe L. Hooper. She loved to travel to several national and state Church of God in Christ meetings and conventions whenever she could.

Mother Hooper was an ardent worker for the Lord. It was nothing for her to bake cakes and pies, and sell homemade sewn and crocheted items to raise funds for the church craft bazaars and building funds.  Many of her grandchildren, (and others), have been blessed by her hats, scarves and baby blankets. 

Small gestures, but nonetheless meaningful, her work showed her to be a faithful, and gifted woman of service, until her health failed her. Through her example of living and being a Proverbs 31 woman, within the Hooper Family, there are: preachers, teachers, tailors, health care workers/providers, missionaries, builders, musicians/singers, community leaders, designers, beauticians, church leaders and workers, business owners, athletes, artists, and students, just to name a few.

Though Mother Hooper, in her later years was in a wheelchair, this by no means deterred her from doing what she loved most, and that was fellowshipping with friends and family. She traveled and shopped, as though she had no limits.  She continued to use her hands to garden, craft doll dresses, bags, crochet and knit hats, scarves, and blankets for family and friends. Her kindness, sense of humor, and her “Ohhhh Gloryyy!!!”
 and “Honeychile…”, and watching her eyes light up when she sees you, are some of the things that will be missed.

Very seldom, would you see Mother Hooper without some sort of jewelry, (which she loved to collect), wearing a hat, (she loved to look good), or having yarn and needles nearby (to whip up a scarf or two). Mother Hooper loved all people, regardless of age, race, and background. She was truly a “people person”.

 She loved to attend the Marian E. Birch Adult Day Care treasured the friendships she had.  “Ms. Ruby”, as she was affectionately called, could often be found singing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, gardening and playing Bingo, (where she sometimes would win!). 

Mother Hooper was preceded in death by three children, Ora Lee Hooper, Deborah Jeannette Hooper, and Marvin Lewis Hooper; four grandchildren, Pamela Elaine Herbert, Ruby Viola Herbert, Michael Joseph Hooper, and Marvin Scarber; and 5 sons-in-law, LeRoy Joplin, James Herbert, Donald Carter, Lee D. McCoy, and Supt. Levarn Smith, Sr.  She is survived by nine children: 7 daughters, Hazel Marie Joplin, Shirley Jean Herbert, Verna Louise Hooper, all of Battle Creek, MI, Annie Mae Smith, of Kalamazoo, MI, Mary Ruth McCoy, of Atlanta, Georgia, Evelyn "Luella" (Charles) Hill, Beatrice D. Carter, both of Detroit, and 2 sons, Jesse Hooper, Detroit, MI, and Pastor Joe (Shermell) Hooper, of Battle Creek, MI; a special daughter, Sandy Scarber, of Detroit, 140 + grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins; a  very special friend, Mother Fay Della Washington, and a host of friends. Although Mother Hooper has departed from this life, her life and legacy will live on through all who knew and loved her.