Owen was born in Kelowna, BC and spent most of his youth growing up in the Shuswap area. He enlisted in 1940 and went to Ontario to do his training to become a radio repairman for the army. It was in Ontario where he met Ethel and they were married in 1943. When Owen got out of the army they moved to Salmon Arm and from there they moved to Prince Rupert and then settled in Smithers with their daughter Karen. Owen’s 3 sons David, Doug and Keith were all born in Smithers. In 1950, Owen, along with Gordon Hetherington, purchased the mens department store of Watts and Nikerson, changing the name to Hetherington and Hooper. In 1977 Jack Bovill took over the store.
Ethel lost her battle with cancer in 1974. In 1975 Owen married Jean Birch (Herman). After the store was sold Owen became the bookkeeper for Carters Jewelry Store for a few years. Owen and Jean moved in 1985 to Sechelt where they enjoyed many hours going out on their sailboat. From there they moved many times, finally settling back to Smithers in 2010 at the Bulkley Lodge.
Owen was pre-deceased by Jean in 2013 and his daughter-in-law Tracy in 2015.
Owen is survived by his sister Carol, his daughter Karen Sketchley (Percy), and sons David (Marilyn), Doug (Susie), Keith; step children Daphne Genest (Mike), Gordon Birch (Giselle), Doug Birch (Donna), Debbie Birch; grandchildren Dean Elmore, Tammy Goodson, Jack & Lloyd Hooper, Alicia Fernanado, Justin Hooper, Laura Chan, Trevor & Kevin Hooper, Adam Spitz, Gordi & Jamie Birch, Katelyn Birch, Kiel, Steven & Stacey Lick; 25 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter expected in July.
A Celebration of Life for Owen will be held later this summer out at Babine Lake.
A very special ‘Thank you’ goes out to Dr. Mario Scholtz who went above and beyond in his care for Owen. Thank you also goes out to all the staff of the Bulkley Lodge who made the last 6 years for Owen better. Memorial donations in Owen’s name can be made to the Bulkley Lodge Resident’s Comfort Fund, PO Box 3640, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0.