Cover photo for Steven Andrew Hooper's Obituary
Steven Andrew Hooper Profile Photo

Steven Andrew Hooper

August 10, 1969 — April 12, 2024


Steven Andrew Hooper

Steven Andrew Hooper came into this world on August 10 th , 1969, a few weeks after astronauts landed on the moon and five days before Woodstock began. His mom was in the middle of canning season, working on her homemade soup, when he decided he was ready to make his grand entrance. Steven left us on April 12 th after a brief illness,  surrounded by family and friends, and his departure was a very peaceful one. But none of us were ready to let go of this man.

Steven grew up in Cullowhee, NC, a unique person in a small southern town filled with folks that didn’t always appreciate his musical tastes, his haircuts or his outlook on life.  He was more mature than most people his age, and he tended to seek out friends that were older than him and could appreciate his perspective on various subjects. He always managed to find his people.

Steven was a kind and gentle soul, and that showed in his career choice. He was a group home caretaker for more than 30 years, helping teenagers and young adults with mental and physical disabilities. He learned skills like sign language and defensive moves for his job, and he loved everyone that he worked with.

He absorbed other peoples’ thoughts and interests, never disparaging their tastes in music, art or literature. His books were always pristine and well taken care of. He turned pages so gently, there was never a crease or a smudge. He definitely didn’t bend any pages to mark where he had left off. He was always ready to give someone a turn to play one side of their favorite record album: if he didn’t like what he was hearing, you probably never knew. But if he enjoyed what he was hearing, he would ask to hear the other side later on in the day or evening.  

Steven had such a diversity of interests. He loved making bonfires, taking photos, reading comic books, working with his flowers in his yard, getting tattoos, singing and playing the guitar in bands (most lead singers would tell you that’s hard!), going to listen to new music and taking the opportunity to attend concerts by his favorite groups from the 80’s and 90’s. He enjoyed prowling through cemeteries, often finding and photographing very old graveyards in both his hometown and in Asheville. He appreciated gargoyles and cherubs, and he and a friend made off with a couple of cherubs one time that welcomed visitors wherever he lived. He loved watching movies,  and friends and family would purposely find funny ones that were sure to make him laugh. He had such an infectious laugh. He loved to cook for people: pizza, chili and steaks were some of his specialties.  

He cherished his cats, Herzog, Flannery and Butler. Please know that they are all going to good homes with people that love them. He was a fast friend to every cat he ever met. He taught at least one cat to fetch empty cigarette packages and super balls. He was such a still person that no cat could resist coming up to him and eventually ending up in his lap. He didn’t even mind having bears in his backyard, although some of them got a little too brave and tried to get into his house in Woodfin.  

Steven’s artistic talent is his legacy to us all. His father was a very talented artist, and Steven inherited his gift and took it in different directions. He appreciated good art materials, but he drew on anything he could find when times were lean and some urge had to be put to paper. Over the years, he began studying spatial aspects and focused on three-dimensional design in art. He could have been an architect. Space, form, color,  texture, light, scale and context became a very strong focus for him. By learning this technique, he gave his art more depth both literally and figuratively. He also learned the skill called stippling and used this to great effect when he wrote and illustrated his self-published book, “Necropolis.” Everyone lucky enough to own a copy will treasure it forever.

Steven had two core groups of friends that really got him: one based in Cullowhee, and one based in Asheville. His Cullowhee bunch included Dianne (he married her, too!),  Chris, Brandy, Greg, Emily, David, April, Claudia, Ron, Beerman and Paula. His Asheville crew included Ananda (he loved her very much!), Andrew, Rob, Heather, Dave, Bethany, John, Matt, Elisa and Chandra.  

Steven is survived by his mother, Linda Harris Hooper, his sisters Lora Griffiths (Bob) and Susan Rukus (Chris) and his brother Billy Hooper, nieces Rachel Rukus, Natalie Rukus and Lucy Hooper and nephew Coleman Rukus. He is also survived by several aunts and uncles and cousins that were more like siblings. He was  predeceased by his father, Ralph Hooper, his paternal grandparents, Clinton and Maude Hooper, and his maternal grandparents, Homer and Ruby Harris as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins. If you were lucky enough to fall into Steven’s orbit and were a family member or his friend, you had a very rewarding experience.

His interment will be at Hooper Cemetery on Thursday, April 18 th , at 2pm.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Steven Andrew Hooper, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hooper-Speedwell Cemetery

Speedwell Rd, Cullowhee, NC 28723

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