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James "Jim" Hooper

James C. Hooper, known as Jim to family and friends, passed away at home on Sunday, December 18, 2022, at the age of 61. A visitation will be held from 11 am to 1 pm on Wednesday, December 28th at the Glen Echo Christian Church (4323 Douglas Ave, Des Moines.) A funeral ceremony will begin at 1 pm following the visitation, burial will be in the Earlham Cemetery.

Jim is survived by his wife, Kathy, two daughters, Jessica & Abigail, his parents, Carl & Jeanette (Cole) Hooper, two sisters; Lynette Moe & Lori (Todd) Keech and a grandson Jackson. Memorial May be directed to the family for causes important to Jim.

James “Jim” Cole Hooper, was born to Jeanette (Cole) and Carl Hooper on September 3, 1961, in Kansas City, Missouri (Go Chiefs!). Jim spent his five years in Missouri before moving to Minnesota with his family. He was a typical boy who enjoyed cars, trains, and planes, all of which continued into adulthood, his toys just became bigger. Jim participated in sports, especially fond of wrestling where he utilized his sisters for training purposes. He always spoke so highly and with great revere for his upbringing. His parents instilled many values and always surrounded him with love which he proudly carried all his life. Family was very dear to Jim and knew he was blessed with wonderful sisters, dear grandparents, many aunts, uncles, and cousins who always held a special part of his heart.

Music was always in his soul, learning classical guitar at the age of 10. He also played piano, all by ear. Jim loved all music and played a wide range of instruments and music from gospel bluegrass, country, rock, folk, rockabilly, traditional hymns, and contemporary Christian music.

Jim loved people. He loved his friends. He could strike up a conversation with anyone from young to old. He genuinely cared to hear their story and would share his. He loved to talk music and enjoyed quizzing us all with “who sang this song?”. While in Minnesota, Jim played in The Grumpy Troll Band and the Jim and Tonic Band around the Minneapolis area. He was in a Contemporary Christian Band, 33:3, name taken from (Psalms 33.3) which played around Des Moines, in church and surrounding area.

Jim graduated from Northfield High School in 1980 and spent the next two years on the Cole family farm in Missouri, proudly helping with the family farm and cattle.

Jim then moved back to Minnesota to attend Dakota County Tech, earning an associate degree in automotives. He used this knowledge and passion working on a pit crew for late model Nascar and shared fun times, created cherished memories and gained lasting friendships. Jim’s work career ranged from working in automotive parts, plastic fabricator and retirement and insurance call centers.

Growing up with a dad who was a pilot, Jim took on his interest in planes and worked at a small airport while he was in high school. Just like music, he enjoyed naming the planes flying overhead by their sound.

As for his train interest, he was a member of the Missabbe Railroad Association in Duluth for years. He proudly owned a Christmas train layout and had three train sets to go around the tree. He also laughed about having the “vertical collection” which was all his boxes of trains stored away as there was no room to display. Jim combined his love of trains with Kathy’s love of gardening and installed a garden railroad (G scale) as his last train project. Jim also took great pride in their flowers and became the water boy.

Jim’s favorite weekend activity was meeting his guitar friends for Saturday lunch of tacos and spending the afternoon at the guitar store with his music friends jamming and fellowship.

Jim held great pride in our country and everyone who fought and protected the red, white, and blue.

From Jim’s first marriage came his beautiful daughter, Jessica Hooper. Jess blessed her dad with a grandson, Jackson, who was Grandpa’s pride and joy.

In 2006 Jim’s sister, Lori, and Kathy’s friend, Debra, played a little match making that brought Jim and Kathy together in marriage in September 2007. This marriage brought two soul mates together. From this union, Jim and Kathy adopted their second beautiful daughter, Abigail (Abby) in 2011. Jim loved being with his family and enjoyed watching the girls form a strong sisterhood. He was a very proud father and grandparent as anyone could be.

Jim is survived by his wife, Kathy, daughters, Jess (boyfriend Tristan) and grandson Jackson. Also surviving Jim are his parents Jeannette and Carl Hooper, sisters Lynette Moe: sons, Ron III (Jodi), Travis (Jolene), Jeremy (Melissa) and Lori (Todd) Keech, nieces and nephews A.J. (fiancé Miranda) Keech and Amy Keech. Aunt Linda Hodges, Aunt Hazel and Uncle Jack Hooper and Aunt Jane Hendren. He is survived by his mother-in-law, Sally Leeper, brother and sister-in-law Diane and Jim Leeper, nephews Jordan and Justin: Sister-in-law Darla and brother-in-law Paul Millhollin and nieces Sarah (Ben) Smith, Hannah (Hunter) Hamilton and nephew Jake Al-Mazroa and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents Sally and Floyd Hooper and Violet and Wilbur Cole: by his uncle and aunt, Paul and Dorsha Hooper, and by Uncle Donnie Hodges and Garland Hendren, as well as Father-in-law Gail Leeper and Kathy’s grandparents Doris and Jim Wilkie and Elma and Carol Leeper and brother-in-law, Ron Moe.

Jim will be greatly missed. He fought a good fight and is now in peace and comfort with our Lord. We will remember you always and see you again soon. Love you always.

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