Ray Gilbert Hooper, M.D., beloved husband, father and grandfather, entered eternal rest on April 2, 2018. Born in Houston, Texas, on October 8, 1930, he was the only child of Erin Malone May and Ray Gilbert Hooper. He left his home in Wharton County to attend Culver Military Academy in Indiana. He then graduated from Tulane University and Tulane University School of Medicine.
Ray served in the U.S. Coast Guard as ship’s doctor. After his first assignment on an icebreaker at the North Pole, he requested reassignment to a southern climate. Soon thereafter, he arrived in Antarctica. Following his service, Ray completed his internship and residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He then came to Corpus Christi in 1962 to enter urology practice with Dr. Ralph V. St. John. The practice, later named Urology Associates of Corpus Christi, grew to include John F. Cram, Jack Ashmore and James F. McCutchon. Ray’s medical career spanned 45 years. He was a Board Certified Urologist and a member of the Nueces County Medical Society. Ray also was a member of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club.
Ray met a Corpus Christi native, Kathryn Olsen, and they married in 1964. Together they raised three daughters in a union that lasted 54 years.
Growing up a country boy, Ray was an avid hunter, a hobby that allowed him camaraderie with many friends throughout his lifetime. His love of the outdoors inspired him to become a cattle rancher on the side, a brief pastime. Other interests included fine wines and gourmet cuisine, a lasting influence from his many years living in New Orleans, as well as his extensive travels abroad. Ray could often be found in the kitchen on Sundays, perfecting his recipes for gumbo, homemade French bread and crepes suzette. On all other days, he is remembered for asking “What’s for supper?” as soon as he woke up.
Aptly named and known as Grumpa to his grandchildren, one of Ray’s greatest enjoyments was entertaining them with colorful stories of his past adventures. These stories, told time and again in his unmistakable Texas drawl with a twinkle in his eye and a hint of mischief, were hallmarks of his dry wit and subtle humor. His love of family was best revealed when surrounded by his grandchildren. He will be an angel in heaven like no other.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy; daughters, Ann Hooper Lovell (Jeff), Kathryn Ray Bandas (David Shaffer), Farley Hooper Erikson (Steve); grandchildren, Allie Lovell, Marilyn Lovell, James Lovell, Frannie Bandas, Meg Bandas, Drew Bandas, Katie Erikson and Ryan Erikson.
A memorial service will be held at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. If desired, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.