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Mary Joan Hooper, age 78, of Gwynn, passed away peacefully with her family around her on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, after battling cancer.

Joan was born on Nov. 28, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, to the late Margaret Tearney O’Connor and Joseph O’Connor of Baltimore, and formerly of Ireland. 

Joan spent her formative years growing up in a loving home, a large Catholic family on Wilcox Street in Baltimore. She attended Seaton Hall, a parochial school in Baltimore, where she learned among many things to speak, read and write Latin. Joan graduated in 1958 with plans to become a Catholic nun until she met William Hooper of Salvo, North Carolina, a handsome young Coast Guardsman stationed in Baltimore. The two fell in love and were married in 1959 in Manteo, North Carolina. Joan had just turned 19 years old. Joan travelled all over the U.S. with her husband Bill and even lived in Ketchikan, Alaska. Eventually the two made their way to Gwynn’s Island in Mathews in 1974, where Bill was stationed and eventually became the XO of the Coast Guard Station on Milford Haven. 

Joan was a loving wife and mother, and dedicated her life to her family.  Joan dearly loved Gwynn’s Island and the people of Mathews, and decided to stay and make it her family’s home.

Once her children were raised, Joan spent 14 years at D & P Embroidery sewing flags there. She later became a licensed CNA. Joan dearly loved taking care of others and continued to do so until she fell ill.   

Joan’s husband Bill passed away in 2006. Two years following his death, Joan joined the local square dancing club and this became a huge passion of hers in later years that brought her tremendous joy. 

Joan is survived by her two sons, William Hooper Jr. of Mathews and James David Hooper of Virginia Beach, and her seven grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate Joan’s life will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 at the Middlesex Sports Club Hall, 1860 Twiggs Ferry Toad, Hartfield, Va. 23071. A reception will be held immediately following the service. 

Faulkner Funeral Home, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, assisted the family.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Gwynn’s Island Museum.  www.gwynnsislandmuseum.orgs.