Posted by: Dr. Grover B. Proctor, Jr. | 3 August 2017

A Great and Humble Man

Today would have been the 70th birthday of my first cousin Michael B. Hooks. He is shown in the picture at the bottom, taken some time in the 1970’s, with his wonderful, lovely bride Judy Yates Hooks.

Mike was the heart and soul of us 7 Hooks cousins — with a 1.21 gigawatt smile, a heart bigger than the continental U.S., a rollicking sense of humor almost as large, and love that continuously radiated from his spirit to everyone around him.

Mike Hooks

Mike Hooks

If you were ever fortunate enough to be in the same room with him, Mike would invariably make you feel uniquely special, valuable, warm, and very important to him. You’d leave feeling like you’d known him all your life, or at least wishing that you had. (Lucky me; I did.)

He saw himself (in descending order of what was important to him) a child of God, a son/husband/father/family man, a patriotic lover of country (back when people still understood that this was a good and honorable thing), and a highly successful entrepreneur.

He felt lucky to be alive, and his life was dedicated to giving back in every way he knew.

He was truly a consummate and devoted family man. Tears try to force their way out every time I think about how Mike would have loved and doted on the fact that his two beautiful, talented daughters gave him and Judy ten grandchildren! I would have paid an admission fee just to have been able to watch him and those ten “grands” create massive joy together.

Mike was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and was afterwards a devoted leader of veterans’ causes, in particular by privately aiding individual veterans in need. Ten days after Mike’s heart-breaking early death at age 48, famed columnist and F.O.M. (Friend of Mike) Dennis Rogers published a column in Raleigh’s News and Observer, titled “A Life that Meant Something” — devoted to telling people the inside story of Mike’s private heroism. You should read it, and understand that a great and humble man walked among us.

We love you and miss you mightily, Mike!

Mike and Judy Hooks




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