The Hooper Legacy
In the late 1800’s, Walter J. Hooper Sr. came to Harrisburg from Philadelphia and was recognized by the local media for being on the cutting edge of human preservation and bringing the most advanced embalming techniques with him. He started in business with another funeral director who passed early in his career, at this time my grandfather founded Hooper Funeral Service at 604 Foster Street in Harrisburg. Not only was he an entrepreneur but he was also a strong community leader who believed in our youth, among his many accomplishments, Walter became a charter member of the former Foster Street Y.M.C.A. Walter J. Hooper Sr. died at an early age and his daughter Millicent Hooper, at the tender age of twenty three continued the legacy and she changed the name to the Hooper Memorial Home.
Millicent was in business for over sixty years and had accomplished many firsts in her career; she passed December 5th, 2004. She was the youngest to pass the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors examination, first female president of the United Cerebral Palsy Center of Camp Hill, PA and many others. She also built the second location of the business at 1416 Cumberland Street when the State used the imminent domain law to create State parking in the original location of 604 Foster Street. During her tenure as a businesswoman, she raised two sons.
Her son Lance W. Ulen picked up the baton and carried the legacy of the Hooper family tradition. Lance too changed the name of Hooper Memorial Home to the Hooper Memorial Home Inc., which it is today. Lance graduated from the Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, GA and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He was an artist for many years in the city of Philadelphia and he brought his artistic talents to the business with his restorative techniques. He is a member of the Dauphin County Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. He currently is president/supervisor of the Hooper Memorial Home Inc. and president of the scholarship committee of the South Central PA Sickle Cell Council.
Lance married Angela Marie Ulen who is also a funeral director and the firm’s Insurance agent. Angela has a degree in Integrated Informational Business Systems as well as a degree from the Northampton College where she studied mortuary science. She is a member and President of the Dauphin County Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and the Eye Bank Association. In addition to her other memberships she presides over the Hooper Memorial Home Inc. Bereavement Support Group. In addition she is the Insurance representative of the funeral home.
In 2001 Lance and Angela built the current funeral home in its present location at 3532 Walnut Street, Harrisburg. This is another first for the Hooper legacy because this is one of the largest of any funeral homes in the South Central Pennsylvania area with seating for over 200 and parking for over 100 cars. In it’s brief two year period of existence it has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in that we get persons from out of State and the surrounding area who come to visit us.
For almost a hundred years now Hoopers has been dealing with grief stricken families, through our services, we strive to lessen the burden of death as much as possible. We have always been proud of our conduct in the details and arrangements of our services.
The original location, 604 Foster Street was built by Walter Hooper Sr. in the early 1900's
1416 Cumberland Street was built by Millicent Hooper in 1956
The present location at 3532 Walnut Street, Harrisburg was built in 2001 by Lance and Angela Ulen