HILL — Fred Leon Hooper III, “Tawny,” was born April 22, 1951, in FrankliN. He passed peacefully in the early hours of March 10, 2018, at his childhood home in Hill, surrounded by his loving family.
An only child to Irene and Fred Hooper Jr., he lived in Hill Village and neighboring Franklin for 40 years before his profession with Watts Water Technologies called him to move with his wife and children to North Carolina. Finishing a distinguished 46-year career with Watts in 2016, he answered the call of his loving heart to return home to Hill spending a quality year with his father which would unfortunately wind up being his father’s last year of life.
As a young child, Tawny was full of life. An avid outdoorsmen like the men of his family he enjoyed and excelled at hunting and fishing. He also excelled in the sport of baseball, having established a legendary reputation at Franklin High School. He dominated the likes of Carlton Fisk with his lively fastball, amazing curveball and nasty slider. Unbeaten against Tom Seaver amongst many of the talented arms he matched up against garnered the attention of the Montreal Expos who drafted him to their AAA team as he graduated high school. A rotator cuff injury sadly cut his dreams of MLB success short.
Tawny would then work at Webster Valve, where the Hooper family work ethic shined bright. He mastered every machine he worked with or repaired, following in his father’s footsteps he became a renowned supervisor at the busy factory. He would also start his own small businesses. Starting first with “Hooper and Son Cordwood,” he cut, split and delivered firewood all over New Hampshire, reaching as far as Connecticut for some orders with his unbeatable prices and service.
His next business endeavor would be much closer to his calling to serve others with a smile, The Lumberjack Family Restaurant in Sanbornton. This would lay the foundation for a second restaurant in Spindale, North Carolina - The Sunrise Family Restaurant. Both establishments were very true to their name as the entire Hooper family would be involved with the successful launch and growth of a warm and loving environment where the food and prices were almost as inviting as Tawny and Leslie’s smiles and laughter they would consistently share with the many beloved regulars who would eventually become an extended family.
Tawny loved to enjoy life. From the lows and highs of being a dedicated Red Sox and Patriots fan, to the pain and patience of perfecting his Carolina cat fishing. Time spent with friends and family was what his heart longed for. The textbook definition of a family man, Fred dedicated his every breath to taking care of his family as it grew from five children to 21 grandchildren. Any one of them, along with herds of other family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances would be happy to share one of many stories of hard work, loud laughter, unselfish service to others and most of all endless amounts of profound Love.
Fred is survived by his loving family, wife of 36 blissful years, Lesora Hooper; daughter Jenles Hooper Thompson with her husband Fred Thompson and their children Stacia, Cody, Myles and Mason; daughter Kara Hooper Lancaster with her husband Evan Lancaster and their children Brittany, Adam and Emilee; son Louis “Chip” Hooper and his wife Samantha with their children Justin, Joshua, Raymond, Louis Jr. and Charlie; daughter Annie Hooper and children Justice, Joseph, Jeremiah, Jayden and Journee; and daughter Michelle Hooper Hines with her husband Neal Hines and their children Destinee, Neal Jr., Malayla and Bella.
Fred was preceded by his parents, Fred L. Hooper Jr. and Irene Griffin Hooper of Hill.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 15, at 10 a.m. at Thibault-Neun Funeral Home, 14 Franklin St., Franklin.
For directions and an online guestbook, please visit www.neunfuneralhomes.com.