Rev. Wesley F. Hooper, 99, of Franklin, left this earth and joined the Church Triumphant Tuesday evening, February 7, 2023. He was 99 years old and said he was born on the first big frost October 25, 1923, in the MilkSick Cove above Cullowhee, NC. He was the son of the late Rev. Corsey and Maggie Frady Hooper and was the last surviving child of their thirteen children.
He was a Baptist pastor for 77 years, serving mountain churches in Macon, Jackson, and Swain counties. He grew up during the great depression and was able to go only through the seventh grade, but he was self-taught, as he served seventeen churches and two of those churches he pastored twice. He was ordained June 22, 1946, and was the last of the charter members of the Pine Creek Baptist Church. He also served in several offices in the Macon and Tuckaseegee Associations including moderator. He served in the past as a chaplain for Cullowhee and Savannah volunteer fire departments. He worked hard at the variety of jobs he held during his life. He worked in logging, farming, construction, painting, and in maintenance in the Macon County Schools and with the paint department of Western Carolina University before retiring. He was a talented craftsman and made all kinds of tool handles, bottomed chairs, making oxen yokes, and wood carving. He shared many of his skills with children and others as well in the schools and the County fair.
He was married to Gladys Davis Hooper for 72 years until her death in 2016. They were a working couple and shared in the ministry to all they could. They grew big gardens a were always sharing their bounty and gave all kinds of vegetables to their friends and neighbors. He was best known for the sweet potatoes he grew.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Dennis Hooper; daughter, Janie Matthews; twelve brothers and sisters. Mr. Hooper is survived by his daughter, Karen Burch (Donald) of Franklin, NC; a son, Rev. Davis Hooper (Sandra) of Franklin; nine grandchildren; thirteen great grand-children; two great-great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Also surviving are a multitude of children he had won to the Lord Jesus Christ.
A celebration of his life and praise service will be held at 2pm on Saturday, February 11, at Liberty Baptist Church, of which he was the oldest member and taught Sunday School until only a couple of months ago, when his health forced him to stop. Rev. Eddie Stillwell, Rev. Steve Reeves, and Rev. Charles Stevens will officiate. All his other fellow ministers, whom he loved and would have liked to have all of them officiate, will service as honorary pallbearers, along with the deacons with whom he had served. Burial will be in the Liberty Baptist Church cemetery.
The family will receive friends February 11, from 12pm to 2pm, two hours prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Liberty Baptist Church.
Online condolences can be left at www.maconfuneralhome.com.
Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.