The three-panel photo in the Sunday obits caught my eye, but it was the name associated with it that touched my heart: Frank Hooper. Although we never met, I knew him as Frank Hooper, Sun Lakes.
For many years as a member of The Arizona Republic editorial board, I read and selected letters to the editor for publication. At one point, that was about 500 letters a week. I loved it for the insight into the minds of people who are intellectually or emotionally engaged in the news of the day.
Frank Hooper was a regular letter writer. I felt like I knew him well. His contributions to public discourse were thoughtful, respectful and concise. He obviously was comfortable with the written word and was confident enough to sign his name to his opinion and tell you where he lived. An anonymous Internet troll, he was not.
Frank had something to say about a lot of things, and although I often didn’t agree with him, I certainly appreciated his ability and desire to share his point of view in the marketplace of ideas that is the Opinions page. I found some of his letters on azcentral about Obamacare, Ferguson, inflation. One of his most recent ones published in June was about water conservation.
Frank, his wife and two of his children died in a horrible, head-on collision shortly after Thanksgiving. Speed and alcohol were likely factors. The other driver, who also died in the crash, had two DUI convictions.
If this had happened to another family and if Frank had seen the obit, I’m certain he would have had something to say. And it would have been worth printing.