Nell Trask Hooper

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


July 20, 1928 — March 11, 2018

WILMINGTON — Nell Trask Hooper passed away on March 11, 2018 after a long period of declining health. She was 89 years old.

Born on July 20, 1928 to Christian Heide Trask and Nell Hunter Trask, she was the oldest of four children. Her early years were spent on the family farm near Wrightsboro, but when she was a young girl her family moved “into town” to Hydrangea Place. She was educated in Wilmington, at Ashley Hall, Mount Vernon Junior College and Salem College. She left Salem College to marry Joseph Ward Hooper Jr., M.D. on Oct. 22, 1949 and subsequently moved to Richmond and then back to Wilmington, where she spent the rest of her life.

Dr. and Mrs. Hooper raised five daughters in Wilmington, and their home on Gillette Drive was a beehive of constant activity. While hosting many social and political events, Nell always found time to be a devoted mother.

She is survived by four of her five daughters, Nell Hooper Graham, Louise Hooper Jones, Christian Heide Hooper and Nancy Hooper Morrison.

Margaret Hooper Turner passed away in 2015.

Known as “Mimi” to her grandchildren, she treasured most the time spent with them at Wrightsville Beach, teaching all 12 to enjoy boats and the water, fishing, crabbing and clamming all day long. She enjoyed shelling with four generations of the family and delighted in finding sand dollars, her favorite. The grandchildren’s friends all joined in the fun, and she loved her nickname, “The Crab Lady.” Nothing was more enjoyable than a Hooper family party on her porch. Holidays found as many as 30 people at the family table, and that’s the way Mimi liked it. Many spring afternoons were spent at the family farm picking acres of daffodils for distribution to friends.

She was a member of the Junior League of Wilmington, the Colonial Dames and the Ministering Circle. Each year at the Ministering Circle’s charity auction, her crab pies, homemade mints and other delicacies were in great demand.

In addition to her daughters, Mrs. Hooper is survived by two sisters, Nancy Trask Wood and Madeline Hickmon (Jim); a brother, Christian Heide Trask Jr. (Cason); and a sister-in-law, Louise Hooper Wilson of St. Louis, Missouri; as well as 12 grandchildren, Hooper Graham Patterson (Read), Frederick Bolles Graham III (Ashley), Joseph Hooper Graham (Melissa), James Carr Graham (Jenifer), Margaret Turner Clarke (Matthew), Louise Turner Mattox (James), Terry Forest Turner Jr. (Mollie), Joseph Ward Turner, Murray Wilson Jones Jr. (Anna), Louise Reston Jones Chambers (Ben), Brame Perry Morrison III, and Nell St. Clair Morrison. Nell Hooper was also much beloved by her four sons-in-law, Frederick Bolles Graham Jr., Terry Forrest Turner, both of Wilmington, Murray Wilson Jones of Winston-Salem and Brame Perry Morrison Jr. of Wilson.

She is survived by 15 great-grandchildren, Graham, Hutson and Flanner Patterson; Elle, Joe and Wren Graham, Charlie, Hunter, and Sally Nell Graham, Powell, Emma and Turner Mattox, Jack and Margaret Clarke and Whit Turner. In addition, she also is survived by her many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank Mimi’s valiant caregivers, Bernice Collins, Arlene Bouchard, Helen Barnhill, Tracy Williams, Lottie Bowens, Erla Davis and Suzanne Collins, for their extraordinary love and affection shown to Mimi during these recent years; thanks also to Dr. Mary Rudyk, as well as the staff of Cambridge and Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 14 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church with interment to follow at Oakdale Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Frederick Bolles Graham III, Joseph Hooper Graham, James Carr Graham, Terry Forrest Turner Jr., Murray Wilson Jones Jr., Joseph Ward Turner and Brame Perry Morrison III. Visitation will be on Tuesday, March 13 from 4 - 6 p.m. at 5918 Greenville Loop Road.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church and Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

Arrangements are being handled by Andrews Mortuary on Market Street.