In Memoriam
Brother Richard M. Hooker 

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Richard M. Hooker, who served proudly as Mass Delta's chapter advisor for over 40 years, died on Wednesday March 21, 2018 at Meadowbrook Nursing Home in Granby CT.

Brother Hooker touched the lives of hundreds of Mass Delta brothers as a mentor, advisor, friend, and brother over the course of five decades.

His impact on the fraternity and its members was enormous.  Over the past few weeks, brothers wrote, called, and traveled from near and far to visit with him at Meadowbrook as his health declined, and he was comforted by this outpouring of love and support.

The family has chosen to hold a private funeral service.  The chapter and house corporation are making plans to memorialize Dick's legacy, and will be honoring him in the days ahead.

This page has been provided for brothers to share their personal memories, stories, and condolences.  Please join in sharing your own story of Brother Hooker and the impact he had on you, using the form provided here.

 
 

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Remembrances

May Dick’s perpetual passion and youthful spirit live on within the hallowed halls of SAE.
— Ted Kielar '80
Dick was my close friend for many many years, while we ran countless functions for the Fraternity/Sorority system here at WPI.
He knew more about Fire Protection and Fraternity safety than anyone I knew. I shall miss him dearly
— Prof. Helen Vassallo (WPI)
Rest in Peace, big brother Hook. You brought daily structure, fireside wisdom and early morning optimism. True to your mantra, my life has been made better because you were a part of it!
— Joshua Onffroy '93
It is amazing how much commitment, energy, and dedication Dick brought to us over the decades. It’s amazing how many brothers and other people he knew, befriended, inspired, influenced, and are glad that they knew him.
My deepest sympathy and best wishes to Dick’s family during this sad time, and always.

Dick, thank you for all you have done, and all the good memories. Phi Alpha.
— Bob Sykes '73
Everyone’s comments are right on.

Everything and everyone Hook touched was better because he was a part of it and he cared. He not only inspired greatness in us all, he expected it. And then he helped you achieve it. We are very lucky to have been blessed by Brother Hooker. May we all continue his legacy.

Phi Alpha
— Thomas Dionne '89
It was a great pleasure to be able to call Dick a friend and brother. His ability to boost confidence in young men and help them become better people was a wonderful gift. I will miss him greatly! Phi Alpha, Mailman
— David Melvin '89
Dick was one of the first people I met when I came to WPI many years ago. On day 3 or 4 of my role, he strolled into my office, introduced himself, showed me a housing manual he had written and wanted to talk about ways we could improve the community and reinvigorate GAC.

He has always exuded a immense passion for the fraternal experience, not just for SAE, but for the overall WPI fraternity and sorority experience. It is thanks to him that we’ve made our chapter houses safer places for men to live, improved relationships with the city of Worcester, and kept the Greek Alumni Council going.

He has mentored and inspired hundreds of fraternity men in ways both large and small. His loss will certainly be felt. I can only hope to inspire and lead so many so positively as Dick has.
— Emily Perlow (WPI)
It was my privilege and honor to know Dick Hooker. Phi Alpha Brother and Rest In Peace.
— Curt Dudley '80
It is hard to put into words the influence that Dick Hooker generated over a group of men spanning multiple generations. His teachings and stories helped build the great Fraternity that we cherish today, and I am eternally grateful to have been a small part of his story. To this day, I remember jovially the hour-plus long phone calls, the emails, and all the time spent together as a brother and EA working toward a greater goal.

I think it goes without saying that the world lost one of the great ones this week, and hopefully our stories and actions through life can continue the legacy that he left behind.

Without a doubt, Dick left this world better than he found it, so let’s continue to honor and cherish the memory of our Brother, mentor, & friend.
— Patrick Dodd '14 (UNH)
Since I first met Dick back in 1989, I could see that he poured his heart and soul and passion into helping make SAE Mass Delta the best environment possible for guiding a bunch of boys to mature into men. My heart is very sad to see him leave us, but I’m confident that his memory and inspired message to “leave this place better than we found it” will remain forever in our hearts and minds and continue to echo in the hallways of Mass Delta.

He made a lasting impact on so many of us over not only our college years, but our entire lives. Thank you for everything, Dick. Phi Alpha, Brother!
— Matt Zembruski '93
I’ll never forget Hook and how much he meant to the entire chapter and to each of us. Last summer was the last time I saw him and not only did he remember who I was he even shared stories with my fiance about my time in the house. He was a great mentor and will be sorely missed. PA and rest easy Hook.
— Ben Blanck '09
I first met Dick as a young alumni from AXP when I attended a GAC meeting. Years later we served together on a committee for the Greek Life Task Force, of course it was focused on housing and safety. Through the years since working alongside Dick with GAC has been such a great experience. Not only was he always there to offer help to anyone, the knowledge he imparted to me was invaluable as we did any work on our chapter house.

Dick’s with with the City of Worcester to transform our chapter house inspection processes is just one of many legacies he leaves. Without his tireless efforts meeting with City inspectors we would not have the smooth process we do today. We all him owe our gratitude.

Being the “old guys” at many GAC events I looked forward to seeing Dick and sharing stories. He will be greatly missed.
— Mike Henry '92 (Alpha Chi Rho)
Dick referred to me as “the last pledge” a fact that he would never let me forget. It was our admiration of him that helped my wife and I to feel comfortable with our son becoming a brother. That same admiration was a primary reason that I joined a fraternity in my mid-fifties. Rest well my friend and thank you for all the good you have done.
— Peter Thomas (SAE Mass Delta)
I am saddened to read that Dick Hooker has left this world, that his time here is complete, his chores done and that he is gone on to his great reward that he justifiably earned. His assistance to all of us, whether with his advice, his perspective or his wit was always welcomed. Myself and SigEp will always be in his debt for his timely assistance when we underwent a project that included sprinkler alarms. It was interesting to see the City of Worcester Fire and Inspection Services defer to his every “suggestion” for how the system needed to be modified. He just knew, and they knew it. God love him.
— Neil Spellman (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
Walter Knapp introduced Brother Hooker to me when I was an undergrad and Dick reminded me of it 35 years later! He was fond of telling about state officials arguing with him about how to apply the state fire code. They would push back on Dick, “What do you know about the fire code?” He would tell them “I wrote the fire code!” Bother Hooker also supported SAE and WPI Greek Life and Greek Life everywhere with every last breath. Brother Hooker Ad Astra.
— Walter Towner '83
Dick truly was a father figure and role model to me during my time at WPI. He was honest, headstrong, and true. He showed us the importance of being frank with ourselves and our peers constructively, and challenged us to think critically about how we choose to carry ourselves as individuals.

But more than that, Dick was a friend and family member. He genuinely cared for each and every one of us, and wanted us to succeed and find fulfillment in whatever paths in life we chose to pursue. A person like that is a rare gift in life.

I loved my time at MA Delta. I was able to grow and learn, and I met some pretty incredible people along the way. Dick was instrumental in that. He built that house into what it is today, and left a lasting legacy that I’m hopeful we can learn from and expand upon in a way that would make him proud.

Rest in piece brother, and Phi Alpha
— Reed Maxim '17
I’ve never met anyone who was as passionate for something as Dick was for SAE. Truly inspiring individual whose legacy will live on in our memories.
— Nick Cubin '07
I was a brother at the NHBE chapter and Dick was our adviser during the time I was EA in 2010. Dick is truly one of the most amazing gentlemen I have ever met in every aspect. If it was not for Dick, the NHBE chapter would never have existed, and the 50 closest friends I have today would never have come together to be the group of gents we’ve become.

I’ll never forget the hours of conversation I had with Dick about school, life, work, and everything in between, and the many teachings and advice he handed down. Even when I moved to California years after graduation, Dick and I still kept in touch as a friend and mentor. I’ll never forget the time we spent together at 28 Madbury Rd. and will always hold close his teachings in my everyday life.

I will never forget this man that has had such a positive impact on my life, and helped me become the man I am today. Rest easy in Chapter Eternal my friend. Phi Alpha.
— Scott Haskell '12 (UNH)
I’ll never forget how he never forgot who I was. But that’s just the kind of guy he was - making the little guy feel important and involved.
— Matt Neale '06
I hope to impact as many people in my life as Hook did. Rest in peace.
— Dan Szewczyk '09
I have never met a person so passionate about any single thing as Dick Hooker and his passion for the brotherhood of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Dick’s unending love and faith in our brotherhood was instantly apparent in my first interaction with him as a pledge. His passion provided motivation for me to make the most out of my fraternal life and his encouragement led me to the leadership positions I eventually held at Mass Delta. I had no idea at that time that this brotherhood that Brother Hooker evangelized would be the foundation of all our lives. Certainly, I can trace my professional career and my lifelong friendships to my time at Mass Delta and this all started with Dick Hooker’s omnipresent mentorship. God bless you Dick Hooker; your legacy will live forever and your influence impacted thousands.
— Chris Alicandro '88
Hook was a true gentleman and put his heart and soul into everything he did. A mentor and friend who taught me the wonder of brotherhood, the joy in giving more than receiving, and countless limericks along the way. His legacy lives on through all of us so blessed to know him and so privileged to be his brother.
— Matthew Lavoie '00
It is impossible to measure the impact that you had on my life and the lives of so many that were fortunate enough to know and learn from you. Thank you for everything. Rest easy brother!

’...and when I die, I’ll be Phi Alpha dead.’
— Michael Case '09
A great man has gone away, but everything he was lives on through all of us each time we think of him and endeavor to be our brother’s keeper. It is up to us now to leave this place better than we found it.
— Evan Damiano '06
Brother Hooker meant a tremendous amount to the NH Beta chapter of SAE. He was a great role model and a TG in every sense of the word. PA.
— Cam Gill '12
Phi Alpha Brother Hooker. It was an honor and a privilege to be your SAE Brother!
— Gary Wong '79
RIP to a True Gentleman in every sense of the word. Like a father to all of our Brotherhood, you always left everywhere and everything better than you found it. You will be missed, but will live on in the hearts of every SAE that learned from you. PA Brother Hooker.
— Mark Cloutier '91 (Cloutsie)
I only met Brother Hooker briefly one time, but I have followed his efforts for Mass. Delta for many, many years. His memory should live forever in the hearts of the brothers of Mass Delta.
— Joseph Ferrantino '67
Dick saw something in me long before I did. The more he influenced me to take on new roles that I would normally make me uncomfortable, the more I loved it. Dick has been a huge part of my personal success in college and beyond. I will honor his legacy by building the confidence of those around me to help them succeed, just as Dick did for me. You will be missed, Brother Hooker.
— Russ Varney '12
Hook never turned away a brother in need. He was always the first to lend a ear if needed. He was a mentor, a friend and a brother. A staple of MA Delta and the one face we all looked forward to seeing at homecoming. Brother, we’ll miss you.
— David Sim '01
Hook’s only ask was “to leave this place better than you found it”. I’m thankful to have received that guiding principle in my life. His zeal for SAE was inspiration to all of us. I’ll miss you Brother.
— Jon Hone '01
No matter how hard times got, or how difficult the situation, Dick was always there. He would support us through our problems but also help to reach our goals, aspirations, and achievements that has made Massachusetts Delta Chapter one of the best SAE Chapters. Dick will never be forgotten and his legacy will live on in every brother in their pursuit of the True Gentleman and making this place better than we found it.
— Jaime Stephen '18
Dick was a man who gave his life to the fraternity, and the betterment of its members. He challenged us to become better men through service, leadership, and brotherhood; values that he embodied through his selflessness while I knew him. Although he never mastered the email ‘reply-all’, he was the master at creating a community for boys to become men during their collegiate years. I know the impact he had on me was measurable; Rest easy brother.
— Zack Ericson '17