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Richard Allen Hooper

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Richard Allen Hooper, 61, of Morristown, died on Monday, July 4, 2022, at his home following a long illness.

He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church and a 1978 graduate of Tellico Plains High School. He also attended Cleveland State Community College, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Tennessee Wesleyan College.

His career spanned four-decades of newspaper photography, writing and editing. While still in high school, he was sports editor and photographer for the Monroe County Advocate. Later, he held various positions as staff writer, sports editor, news editor, and eventually, managing editor at newspapers, including The Daily Post-Athenian, Cleveland Daily Banner, Morgan County News, Roane County News, Harriman Record, Rogersville Review, Clinton Courier, Oak Ridger and Newport Plain Talk. He won numerous awards for sports writing and photography, public service, investigative reports, and writing excellence; the Tennessee School Board Association Golden Quill Award for news coverage of schools in 1989; and the prestigious Edward J. Meeman Award for first place in Public Service from the University of Tennessee/Tennessee Press Association in 2016.

Much of his community work was through his involvement in local journalism. He served on Tennessee Press Association Freedom of Information and Government Relations committees; and Keep Roane County Beautiful board of directors; four terms as president of the Newport Lions Club; served as a member of Rotary, Kiwanis and Jaycees civic clubs; and as a Roane County Health Council member. After moving to Morristown, he built the Blessing Box now used by Centenary United Methodist Church.

He enjoyed fishing, camping, and playing guitar. Most of all, he loved being with family and friends and sharing his special humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Harley and Emma Sue Hooper of Tellico Plains; and his brother, James Gary “Butch” Hooper of Cleveland.

Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Jennifer (Imhoff) Hooper; daughters, Emilia Farmer and Deirdre (Seth) Barber of Knoxville; sons, Richard Andrew Hooper of Newport and Sean Christian Hooper of Morristown; and grandsons, Elijah and Ethan Barber of Knoxville; cousins, Howard Hooper, Mary (Michael) Minic, Bruce Hooper, Charlie Hooper, Tammy Kilby, Keith Kilby, Diana (Veronica) Zacharias, Michelle (Chuck) Zingale and Sheila (Ken) Fisher; nephews, T.J. (Nicole) Hooper, Kristofer (Helen) Mann and Joseph Smakula; sisters-in-law, Catherine Imhoff of Laurel, Maryland, and Lucinda (Ken) Mann of Rittman, Ohio; special friends, Robert “Skip” Sykes and Duay O’Neal; and many more friends and relatives.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home in Madisonville.

Funeral services will immediately follow at 3 p.m., with the Rev. Vivian Reed officiating.

Interment will follow at the New Providence Baptist Church Cemetery in Tellico Plains.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at Centenary United Methodist Church, Morristown, with the Rev. Reed officiating, assisted by the Rev. Ginger Isom.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 206 N. Jackson St., Morristown, TN 37814, or in memory of Richard Hooper to any charitable organization.

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