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Dr. Judith (Ann) Oakey Hooper, aged 82, died from effects of coronary artery disease on December 3rd, 2022, at University Hospital in Madison. Judy’s husband, Frank H. Hooper, and her daughters, Elizabeth Hooper-Lane and Margaret Hooper, were with her at the end.
Judy was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, a teacher, a columnist, a trusted family therapist, and a mentor and friend to all those who knew her. Her love and loyalty to family were generously given to their friends and partners as well. She was intelligent, outspoken, and a realist, but also deeply sentimental and given to gestures of kindness and support. Her loss leaves a sudden void in the lives of all who loved her.
Judy was born at St. Mary’s hospital in Madison on April 23rd, 1940, the daughter of Josephine Violet (Armbrecht) Oakey and Philip Herbert Oakey. The Oakey family arrived in Madison in 1852 and Judy’s great-grandfather, Henry Oakey, was the first alderman of Madison’s 5th ward. Philip was a police officer who rose to the rank of Inspector in the Madison Police Department. In 1955, he moved the family to Mt. Clemens, Michigan, where he was the Chief of police and Josephine worked as a manager for the American Red Cross.
Judy graduated from Mt. Clemens High School in 1958 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Michigan in 1962. While at Michigan, she met her future husband; Judy and Frank were married in January of 1962. Their son, Andrew, was born in August of that year.
She taught junior high school classes in English until Frank received his doctorate in psychology and took a position at West Virginia University in Morgantown, where their daughter, Elizabeth, was born. The family then moved to Judy’s hometown of Madison in 1970, where she gave birth to her daughter, Margaret, and entered graduate school. She earned a master’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in child and family studies from the University of Wisconsin. She then worked at Wisconsin, particularly with the UW-Extension for several years, before starting a successful family therapy practice. She was also widely published on topics in child psychology and family dynamics.
In the 1990s, Frank and Judy retired to the town of Gualala in Mendocino County, California, where they found many new friends among their neighbors. But with the arrival of several grandchildren, they returned to Wisconsin, and lived for 20 years in Monona, where Judy volunteered to support the police department, the public library, and fellow senior citizens. Since 2019, they have been residents of the Saukdale neighborhood on Madison’s west side, where Judy was president of the condominium association.
Judy was an avid reader across many fields and had a great affection for the works of Beatrix Potter. She loved the music of Carly Simon, John Denver, and Luciano Pavarotti. She loved animals, but always hated to see wild creatures in captivity. She held a lifelong belief in gender equality and favored the cause of women in professional and family life.
She loved the Pacific coast of California and took memorable trips to New England, New Mexico, Vancouver Island, and the Scottish Hebrides. Gil’s Rock in Door County was also a beloved destination. But her favorite place was on the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan. For over 40 years, each summer the Hoopers joined several other families for a week at Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. After the “kids” were all grown and had families of their own, the Point Beach week continued as a gathering of a uniquely extended family. They hope to honor Judy with a memorial plaque at the Point Beach ranger station.
She is survived by her husband, Frank; her son, Andrew Hooper and his wife, Carrie Root, of Seattle; daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Hooper-Lane and her husband, Christopher Hooper-Lane, of Madison; daughter, Margaret Hooper, of Madison; brother, Tom Oakey (Rosemary), of Roscommon, Michigan; her uncle, Francis V. McMahon (Rose), of Madison; five grandchildren, Elias and Asa Hooper-Lane, Astrid, Frieda, and Gannon Hooper Lofton, all of Madison; and her step-grandchildren, Harlan Harris (Melissa), of Brooklyn, New York, and Gwen Harris (Bob) of Covina, California; and step-great-grandchildren, Sam and Thea.
For those who wish to honor Judy with a donation, the family suggest a gift to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, whose mission was very important to her. Alternatively, just giving a little extra time to your own family this year would have made Judy happy.
A “virtual” memorial gathering is planned for April of this year, on or near Judy’s birthday.
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