Legal 04

James J. Hooper

January 1, 1930 ~ May 2, 2021 (age 91)


James J. Hooper

January 1, 1930 – May 2, 2021

James (Jim) J. Hooper, 91, of Fort Myers Florida, passed away May 2, 2021 at Hope Hospice from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.  He was born on January 1, 1930 in Marion, Ohio and was the son of the late Walter and Leila Hooper.

Graduating from Ada High School in 1947, Jim went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad and at the start of the Korean War, enlisted in the Navy, serving from 1950 to 1954.  He then attended The Ohio State University where in 1957, he graduated with a degree in Industrial Management and worked for several years in the defense industry.

In 1968, Jim switched careers and following his true calling, the law, graduated from the Ohio Northern University College of Law, and established a practice in Tipp City, Ohio.  He was first appointed into the Judiciary in 1970 and served primarily in the Common Pleas court in Miami County, Ohio and in all of the other levels of court jurisdictions other than the Ohio Supreme Court throughout Ohio, until his retirement in 1995.  

Jim married Marilyn, née Heller, in 1952.  In their 68 years together, they traveled the United States and the world, especially enjoying Sanibel Island, Florida, were they lived after Jim’s retirement from the bench and were active locally.   The J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge was a favorite spot of his where he was a wildlife rover for many years.  Jim was a great lover of books which started as a child, borrowing books from the local bookmobile in the hills of southern Ohio and reflecting that passion, Jim served on the Sanibel library board, eventually becoming president of the board.

If a single phrase could be used to describe Jim, intellectual curiosity would be the most appropriate.  For his entire life, if something interested him, he would read and study until he understood it thoroughly.  Some of those interests included genealogy, history, photography, ham radio, bird watching and later, orchids. He was a dedicated family man who was extremely proud of his sons and grandchildren.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Marilyn, and their five sons, Joseph (Deborah) of Kokomo, Indiana, Steven (Lynne) of Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, James (Denise) of Tipp City, Ohio, John (Diana) of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and David (Linda) of Grove City, Ohio, 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his two brothers, Robert (Marva Lou) of Springfield, Ohio, and Jerry (Mary) of High Point, North Carolina.

A private service will be held at a later date with burial at McMillen Cemetery, Huron.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law general scholarship fund. To give to the scholarship fund online, go to and select Other/Multiple Designations, then select the Pettit College of Law.

Contributions may also be made to the Hope Parkinson Program of Lee County, Florida or to the charity of one’s choice in Jim’s name.  


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