Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Oliver F. Hook's memorial

Oliver F. Hook
Oct. 10, 1924-March 7, 2024
Scottsdale, Arizona

Oliver Franklin Hook of Scottsdale, Arizona, a Navy fighter pilot in WWII, member of “Americas Greatest Generation”, died peacefully March 7 surrounded by his two sons. He was 99. Born in Kansas City, Missouri October 10, 1924 to Ralph and Ruby Hook, he learned the value of hard work early. He grew up with three brothers on the ‘Hook & Son’s Dairy’ farm in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, attending grade school and high school there, where he excelled in athletics and academics. His athletic prowess in football, baseball, basketball and track eventually led to his induction into the “Lee’s Summit High School Sports Hall of Fame” in 2015. At the ceremony, a former coach wrote, “Oliver was, quite simply, one of best natural athletes I’ve ever seen”. After graduation, Oliver enrolled at University of Missouri in 1942. Like so many of his peers, his college years were interrupted by the the War. He enlisted in the Navy, entering the aviation program, earning his wings in 1944, graduating third from the top of his class. A gifted pilot, he continued as a Naval instrument instructor and flew in the Naval Reserves until 1965. At the conclusion of the War, Oliver re-enrolled at the University of Missouri in 1944, lettering in baseball and graduating with top academic honors. He returned to Lee’s Summit becoming owner of ‘Hook Truck and Tractor’ and a Buick dealership. He met and married Elizabeth (Betty) Kuhr, a nurse in Kansas City, in 1952, and their first son Stephen was born a year later. In 1958, Oliver moved his young family to the San Francisco Bay Area to earn his MBA in Finance from University of California, Berkeley. The family settled in Menlo Park as their second son John was born in 1960. Oliver embarked on a nearly 50 year career as a successful stock-broker in Palo Alto, serving as president of The Peninsula Stock and Bond Club, the Sharon Heights Homeowners Association, and Sharon Heights Country Club. He was also an active member of First Methodist Church in Palo Alto. He excelled as a skier, tennis player and golfer winning numerous club tournaments. He moved to Scottsdale in 2019, spending his final years at the Vi in Grayhawk. Oliver was most proud of his family. Married for 55 years to “Betty” until her death in 2007, he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his brother Jim Hook (92) Raleigh N.C., sons Stephen (71) and wife Jessica of Salt Lake City, Utah. John (64) and Gina Hook of Scottsdale, AZ. and four grandchildren. Steve’s son Adam (42). John’s twin sons Kendall and Michael (19) and Makena (18). A graveside service is planned in Lee’s Summit, Missouri this fall, on what would have been Mr. Hook’s 100th birthday. He will be interred with his wife Elizabeth.

Tags: veteran, business, sports

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