Zelma Orene Hooper

Zelma Orene (Cross) Hooper passed away January 5, 2021, at Truman Healthcare in Lamar, Missouri. Zelma was born July 6, 1926, in Dade County, Missouri to Ora and Nadine (Bratton) Cross. She graduated from Golden City High School in the Class of 1945, as Salutatorian and went on to college at Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar receiving an associate degree in 1947.

She taught country school while continuing her education going summers to college. She began teaching at Ginger Hill (salary $90 per month) for two years and Fairmount for one year. On April 21, 1948, she married H. C. Hooper Jr. and they moved to their farm near Milford and lived in the same house for their entire married life and she lived there until going to Truman Healthcare a few years ago. Their love and devotion to each other was evident to everyone who knew them. After H. C. passed away, Zelma wrote a heartfelt poem to “Her Babe” that was read at a memorial service a few months after the funeral. After their marriage, Zelma was a farm wife for two years before returning to teaching. She then taught at Cherry Grove for four years, Round Prairie for one year, and Cherry Grove again for eight years. Still continuing her education, she received her teaching degree from Southwest Missouri College in Springfield in 1965. She was then eligible to teach in public schools and taught for 24 years at Golden City Elementary and retired in 1987.

Zelma and H. C. enjoyed spending time on their farm and with family and neighbors. Zelma was raised in Harmony Baptist Church with her family and was baptized November 2, 1941. She played the piano there and taught Sunday School until it’s closing. After the closing of the church, she attended Milford Christian Church and Newport Baptist Church.

Zelma enjoyed crocheting, painting, music and made many beautiful afghans. She was accomplished on the piano and still played for residents at the nursing home. Zelma was noted for her beautiful handwriting and attention to details in handiwork. She had read the Bible in its entirety numerous times and read it daily even in her last days at the nursing home. Zelma will always be remembered as always being dressed in style and very meticulous in her appearance. In her final days even, a sweat suit had matching accessories in the nursing home. Zelma was the last “Hooper” from H. C.’s large family and always enjoyed family gatherings with them. She was proud of her heritage in the Higgins/Hagins family and never missed reunions held each year. She always looked forward to the fair and the Round Prairie meeting at the park. Family and traditions were important to Zelma and she and H. C. enjoyed a fulfilling hard-working life as good neighbors and Christians.

Zelma is survived by nieces and nephews, Mark and Jon Cross and Diana Enright and Karen Cross, several cousins and a large extended family. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and two brothers, Duane Cross and an infant Truman Cross. Although having no children of her own, Zelma “mothered” countless children in her career as a teacher and is remembered lovingly by these students. She was honored recently at Golden City School for her years of dedication to teaching.

A graveside service will be held at Greenfield Cemetery Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. under the direction of Daniel Funeral Home.

Contributions are suggested and made payable to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, Gideons International or Barton County Library in care of Daniel Funeral Home.


#7 Lee's Summit, MoAnn Rader Ditty 2021-01-11 18:41
It is with great sadness I just saw the obituary for "Mrs. Hooper" in the Lamar Democrat. In my Christmas card to her this year I reminded her she still was the best teacher I ever had. I was her student at Cherry Grove from 1st-4th grade. No better gift could a teacher give you her students then to encourage curiosity and eagerness to learn new things. I told her she made me a life long learner resulting in my staying in school or classes until the ripe old age of 63. I will love her always. I am grateful I had the opportunity to share with her what a difference she made in my life. And at her 90th Birthday party I was able to tell her she still had the prettiest nails and lips of anyone there! Ann
#6 clinton, moLouie Diebold 2021-01-09 19:07
Not only was Mrs. Hooper my teacher, but I think she taught all but one of my 9 brothers and sisters at Cherry Grove. We would like to express our condolences to her family.
#5 LamarDot Elliott 2021-01-09 01:03
So sorry for your lost... I learned alot having her as my teacher at Golden City....
#4 Independence, MOMarilyn Kincaid 2021-01-07 16:46
Zelma was my music Golden City Elementary and my sixth grade Golden City School Teacher. Zelma will be missed by all. Zelma was loved by all and it was always great to see her attend our local one a year Round Prairie School Reunion in the Lamar City Park.
#3 Independence, MOChuck Kincaid 2021-01-07 16:43
Zelma I believe was the School Teacher at Round Prairie School. Although she was not one of my Teacher's, I am sure she taught several of my siblings.
#2 Stockton MONancy Simhiser 2021-01-06 23:59
A very beautiful lady, who touched so many lives, what a legacy she leaves behind. RIP
#1 Oak Leaf, TXSally Fuller 2021-01-06 18:11
My sweet Great Aunt Zelma was loved by everyone who had the blessing in this life of knowing her. What a treasure her kind and gentle nature were and will always be in the hearts and memories of her family and friends! One of my fondest memories of my family's reunions is an afternoon I spent in Granny Jewel's kitchen talking with Aunt Zelma and Uncle PeeWee :). It was then, as a young woman in my 20s, that I first began to realize and appreciate how special they both were and to feel so very blessed to be able to call them family. You have been in my heart since that time, Aunt Zelma, and you always will be. I love you.

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