Donald Graham Hoople, 84: World traveler, committed to education

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BRUNSWICK — Donald Graham Hoople, 84, died at home Feb. 11.

He was born to Ross Hoople and Ruth Pearsall Hoople, Feb. 13, 1929, in Syracuse, N.Y. Hoople graduated from Nottingham High School in 1947, and received a bachelor’s from Syracuse University, where he was a voice major and piano minor. He married his college sweetheart, Sally Crosby, June 3, 1951.

Hoople taught music and humanities in the public schools of Fabius, Oneida, and White Plains, N.Y. He was an enthusiastic teacher who thoroughly enjoyed the cultural advantages of living in the New York City area and often took interested students on trips to the Metropolitan Opera and other performances in the city. He engaged their interest by incorporating popular music into his curriculum. He was past president of Westchester County School Music Association.

In addition to public school teaching, he spent many years as a church organist and choir director. He also became an accomplished harpsichordist after he and son, Doug built their own instrument.

Committed to continuing his education, Hoople earned a master’s in 1968 and a doctorate in 1976 at Columbia Teachers’ College. 

He and his wife visited every continent, and lived in China during Sally’s four teaching and learning stints there. In 2004, they traveled to India. 

Hoople was a masterful cook, and enjoyed concocting seemingly effortless culinary delights for dinner each night. He was often the first person up in the morning, bustling about the kitchen to prepare breakfast and brew coffee. He was always busy with one household project or another, whether it was painting the back deck, planting impatiens by the hundreds, or rigging up ingenious organizational systems.

Hoople was an avid sailor. He and Sally spent many summers sailing in Long Island Sound and cruising the New England coastline. In more recent years, they enjoyed sailing trips in the British Virgin Islands with family and friends.

After retirement from school teaching, and a move to Castine, he continued with guest organist appearances in the Mid-Coast area. 

He was predeceased by a brother, Robin Hoople, of Winnipeg.

He is survived by his wife, Sally, of Brunswick; brother, Bill Hoople and wife Sandra; daughter, Nancy Hoople; son, David Hoople and wife Betsy and their two children, Emily and Peter; son, Douglas Hoople and wife, Gwen, of Wellington and their daughter, Karina Ronharter Jha and her husband, Kumud Jha; daughter, Anne Ralte and husband, Joseph Connors; sister-in-law, Pat DeGroot and husband, Bob; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held July 5, at Medomak Camp in Washington, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Mid-Coast Hunger Program, 84A Union St., Brunswick, ME 04011, or ­­­­the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak, 2950 Newport Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.