B. Gene Hooks
Published: December 17, 2012
B. GENE HOOKS, of Little Rock, passed away at his home Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. He was born on July 17, 1926, in North Little Rock, to the late Mrs. E.F (Mary) Aden and Mr. Ben W. Hooks. After graduation from Hendrix College in 1951, Gene and his wife Naomi secured teaching and coaching jobs in Leslie, Ark. The following years saw moves to Eureka Springs, Springdale and Alma. Gene was offered and accepted the head basketball and assistant football coaching position at the brand new Hall High School in 1959 where he coached for 12 years. His team won the 1 Basketball Championship (Big Nine) at Hall High in the early 1960's. After completing his master's degree, he later worked as an administrator at Horace Mann Jr. High, Booker Jr. High, Forest Heights Jr. High and Central High School. He retired in 1983 after over 30 years in public education. He was a positive influence for many young people during his career in public education. He took great pride in the accomplishments of former students. Long after retirement, former students would recognize him and share fond memories of their school years together. After retirement, Gene sold real estate and collected Indian artifacts. He loved being outdoors and enjoyed gardening, fishing and hunting. He liked music and poetry. A child of The Great Depression, Gene left home at age 17 to enlist in the United States Navy. Gene proudly served his country in the Navy Submarine Service during WWII aboard the USS Medregal. He was aboard the USS Razorback in Tokyo Bay and witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender in 1945. Gene was instrumental in establishment of the memorial in Arkansas for the USS Snook which was declared lost in WWII. He was an active member of the congressionally chartered veteran's organization the United States Submarine Veterans of WWII established to perpetuate the memory of those shipmates who gave their lives in submarine warfare. Gene is survived by his wife Naomi of the home, Roger Kim Hooks (Lori) of Bryant, Ark., and Karen Hooks, DVM of Little Rock. Grandson Army Specialist John Andrew (Amy) Ledbetter of Fort Drum N.Y., granddaughter Kana (Cullen) Williams of Bentonia, Miss. and great grandchildren, Karson and Cayson Williams. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, half- brother Robert Hooks, and his beloved dog, Tiny. Gene woke up happy every day. He was funny, kind, genuine, honorable and principled. A role model for all. He loved his family, animals, people and especially children. He never met a stranger. Quite simply, he was the finest person we have ever known. The "Greatest Generation" has lost another. Grief is the price that we pay for love. Sailor, rest your oar. The family would like to thank Arkansas Hospice and hospice volunteer Rick Cook for their compassion and care. A very special thanks to Gene's caregivers Sam, Greg, Dominique and Carleton who treated him with dignity and kindness. We are forever grateful. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home Chapel 138001 Chenal Parkway Little Rock, Ark. (501)224-8300. Burial will follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at the funeral home. Memorial may be made to: careforanimals.org, CARE, P. O. Box 7604; Little Rock, Ark. 72217-7604. 501-603-2273. Online guestbook: www. rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal.