“My name is Gene Hooper I’ve been here to sing.”

MACHIAS — Gene M. Hooper, 86, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Aug. 17, at a Machias nursing home.

He was born in “Kennebec” Machias, Nov. 22, 1923, the son of Merrill and Inez (Morse) Hooper.

Inspired by Jimmy Rodgers, Gene began a music career that spanned more than 70 years beginning at the age of six when he did his first gig on a blueberry box . As a child, along with his sister Emma, he sold the Grit paper and cloverine salve so he could buy his first guitar. At the age of 16, he left home to begin his music career in Bangor on WABI radio.

Gene was then called upon by his country and he served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Upon returning home, he resumed his music career, touring all over the states and the maritimes.

In 1948, he married his wife of 61 years, Florence Cote. He performed with the W.W.V.A. Jamboree in Wheeling ,W.Va., until returning back to Maine. In 1966, they moved back to Machias and for more than 20 years, Gene was on W.A.L.Z Machias radio, he toured Maine performing at many events including the Pioneer Show, and later with Allan “Mac” McHale and the Old Time Radio Gang along with his wife Flo and daughter Sharlene.

In 1980, he was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame. He leaves behind a legacy for his love of traditional country music. Gene was also an avid golfer starting at the age of 62. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

He leaves behind, and will be sadly missed by his beloved wife of 61 years, Flo (Cote) Hooper; four children, Joline and her husband, George Sprague, Sharlene Hooper, Wayne and his wife, Jane and Zita and her husband, Norman Wood; nine grandchildren, Michelle, Nichole, Tanya, Monique, Kenny, Tina, Troy, Janelle and Shawn; 18 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Emma Cunningham and Eloise Vetrano and her husband, Richard; a sister-in-law, Virginia Hooper; a special cousin, “Mackie”; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and many friends and fans.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Roland.

“When Heaven pulls the curtain back and pins it with a star, remember you have a friend no matter where you are and until we meet again ……… it’s not goodbye, just so long, good neighbor.”

Guest Book