John Richard “Dick” Hoover, 87, died July 30, 2019, in Denver, Colorado with his children by his side.
He is survived by his children Tracy (Curt Gridley) of Wichita, KS; and John of Hillsborough, NH; three grandchildren, Henry, Mackenzie, and Fiona; sister Ruth Ann Houston (Joe) of Hackettstown, NJ; and several nieces and nephews. Sarah Williams, Bonnie Jarrett, EA Burke, and Kay Alvis, all of Cortez, CO, deserve special mention as beloved friends and caretakers in recent years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lou Etta.
Dick was born to John and Lucy (Howell) Hoover on July 6, 1932, in Morristown, NJ. He graduated from Hackettstown High School in Hackettstown, NJ in 1949, spent a year at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ, then earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado and passed his pharmacy qualifying exams in 1954. In family lore, it always seemed remarkable that a young man from a small town in NJ travelled 2,000 miles from home to attend college, at a time before the interstate highway system existed.
At the University of Colorado, Dick met Lou Etta Hale, another pharmacy student, when a professor assigned them to the same lab bench in Bacteriology. He and Lou Etta married in 1958 and settled in Hackettstown, where they raised two children, Tracy and John. During these years Dick and Lou Etta worked at Bach's Drugs, which they eventually owned in partnership with another family. As a downtown business owner, Dick was a long-standing and engaged part of the community, and knew the names of all his regular customers and was known to drive them home if needed or meet them at the drug store after hours to fill an emergency prescription. Dick believed in advancing education and served on the Hackettstown Board of Education from 1967-1983.
After retiring, Lou Etta and Dick divided their time between Hackettstown and Odessa, Florida. Later, they migrated between Florida and Cortez, CO, settling permanently in Cortez in 2003. Dick was an avid trapshooter for many years, and he and Lou Etta enthusiastically travelled the US to participate in many shooting events. Most notably, Dick shot over 265,000 lifetime registered targets and won the Grand American Preliminary Saturday Singles Class B at the Grand American Trapshoot in Vandalia, OH in 1985. They established a longstanding friendship with a core group of NJ shooters, many of whom retired to the same community in Florida. Dick and Lou Etta enjoyed many happy social occasions as well as innumerable trap shoots with these friends. In recent years, Dick was an active member of an investment club in Cortez, and enjoyed researching investment choices in concert with other members of the club.
Over the years, Dick befriended many individuals whom he took under his wing and helped or guided in one way or another. These included Bach’s Drug Store employees, some of whom went on to become pharmacists themselves, as well as folks he encountered in other circumstances. Dick was also fond of raising tomatoes and did so nearly every summer.
Dick will be cremated; a memorial service will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Hoover Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund managed by Onward! A Legacy Foundation. This fund awards renewable scholarships to students heading into the medical fields of study from Montezuma and Dolores (Colorado) Counties high schools. Donations could be made two ways:
1) Checks can be made payable to the Hoover Endowed Med Sch Fund and mailed or dropped off at Onward! A Legacy Foundation, 33 N. Chestnut St., Cortez CO 81321.
2) Online donations will be accepted by completing the form below.