James O. Hook, 99, of Derr,y died on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at home. He was born August 15, 1919 in Columbia, PA to the late John J. and Helen Oliver Hook. He attended St. Patrick's Grade School and graduated in 1937 from Harrisburg Catholic High School which later became Bishop McDevitt High School. James was an altar server at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg and was often the senior server for Bishop Philip McDevitt and called upon to plait palm. Jim was a Duncan yo-yo champion, a talented artist and cartoonist and savored swimming with his dad on Harrisburg Island. He worked at Doutrich's in Harrisburg then was hired by Kennametal in Latrobe in 1942 where he worked for 40 years mostly at the Ridge plant having only missed two days of work during that time. The Hook family will be forever grateful to the "old" Kennametal and the McKenna family.
Jim served three years as a technical sergeant with the Army Combat Engineers during World War II, stationed in England and France. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with one Bronze Star. A member of St. Joseph Church, Derry since 1946, Jim belonged to its Holy Name Society, was a former usher and church council member. He is a life member of Chestnut Ridge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #444, a former member of the Roger Nolfi American Legion Post # 324 and the Derry Ukrainian Club. An avid reader, foodie, train enthusiast and news hound, Jim also loved his Steelers, Pirates, Penn State and beloved Derry Trojan teams. The artist in him fostered a lifelong love of the arts as he never tired of being entertained by all aspects of the television industry.
James was the last remaining member of his Hook family, he was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings: John (Eleanor) Hook and Margaret (Frank) Nazay. He also mourned the loss of an infant child; his son Johnny; daughter-in-law, Connie (Tripoli) Hook; granddaughter, Kristin Hook; and his Garrity in-laws: James and Sarah (McKee) Garrity, Margaret (Gene) Long, Mary Helen, James (Mary Lou), John (Betty) and Chuck (Doris) Garrity.
Surviving are the love of his life, his wife of 78 years, Sarah "Sally" Garrity Hook, his children: James of Greensburg; Ken of Annapolis; Nancy (Jim) Moore of Greensburg; Robert (Sue) of Somerset and Betty (Rick) Roble of Latrobe. He will be missed by his 15 surviving grandchildren and their mates as well as 25 great grandchildren and four generations of nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at the McCabe Funeral Home, 300 W. Third Avenue, Derry on Thursday from 6 to 8 pm and on Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph's Church on Saturday at 10 am with Father Salvatore Lamendola as celebrant. Interment will be made in St. Joseph's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, he asks that donations in his memory be made to St. Joseph's Church, 125 S. Ligonier St., Derry; Caldwell Library, 988 N Chestnut Street Ext, Derry, PA 15627 or St. Jude National Shrine, 308 North Paca Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
Please thank a veteran today to honor Jim!!
The Latrobe-Derry Veterans Honor Guard will conduct a service Saturday at 9:15 am in the funeral home.
Online condolences may be made to www.mccabefuneralhomespa.com.