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Martha Mayer Hooper, daughter of the late Euston Hutto Mayer and Edna Shealy Mayer, was born in Newberry on December 23, 1925. She attended Newberry schools following the death of her father in Baltimore, in 1933.
Martha was a music major at (then) women-only Winthrop College when she met Harold Hal Hooper. Hal’s Aviation Cadet flight class was billeted at Winthrop awaiting orders. Hal hammered boogie-woogie on a piano in a “sound proof” practice room as Martha prepared for a piano recital in the adjacent room. Frustrated and irritated, she stormed over and banged on the door. They married at Greenville, Mississippi a short time later, while he was still attending flight school.
Following Hal’s service as a B-24 Liberator pilot in the Army Air Corps, they made their home in Indiana. There they reared three sons: Larry Boyd, Michael Thomas (deceased), and Lee Allan. Martha returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education from Butler University in Indianapolis and taught in the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township.
She began her service as a church musician at age 13 at Mt. Tabor Lutheran in Little Mountain playing the pump organ and continued playing organ throughout the years at Concordia Lutheran in Evansville, Indiana; Pilgrim Lutheran in Indianapolis; and later at Aveleigh Presbyterian in Newberry.
When Martha and Hal retired to South Carolina, they built a home on family property in the community. Hal passed away on February 17, 2011; Martha passed away in her home on April 21. She and Hal leave behind six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The family will receive friends from 12:45 – 1:45 pm in the church parlor. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Music Ministry of Mt. Tabor Lutheran.
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