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Obituary: Caryl Brush Hooper

Caryl Brush Hooper, a 65-year resident of Port Washington, passed away last year on March 2, 2011. She was born Caryl Myra Brush to Edmund and Edna Brush on April 11, 1918 and spent her early years in the Bronx. She moved with her parents and her younger brother, Theodore, to Manhasset in 1929 when she was 11 years old. At that time, Manhasset had a population of 4,000, two stores, and only one school, Plandome Road School. Orchard Street and nearby Plandome Road were completely residential; there was no movie theatre or shops. She later moved to Great Neck with her family during her junior year in high school.

Caryl’s attachment to Port Washington began on Christmas Eve in 1936, when she traveled there with a group of friends to go caroling, and their group was accompanied by a handsome young cornet player named Earl F. Hooper. Earl’s family roots in Port Washington stretch back to the Hendersons, one of whom built the Port Washington railroad station and several homes around Mill Pond. Caryl and Earl were married in May, 1942 in anticipation of wartime separation. Shortly thereafter, Earl joined the Army and Caryl was among the first group to join the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. Earl served in the European Theatre and Caryl spent much of her service at Marine Corps Headquarters in Arlington, VA.

After Earl returned from serving with the occupying forces in Germany in 1946, the pair rented an apartment in Port Washington. They later moved and their daughter, Barbara (Bobbie Lou) joined the family. Caryl watched Manhasset and Port Washington grow from tiny towns surrounded by farmland to sprawling suburbs. A self-described ‘30s girl, she was not always content with the changes, but she remained committed to her community. She worked for many years as a mortgage officer and vice president at Port Washington’s First Federal Savings and Loan Association (later the Dime) and was an active member of Saint Stephen’s Church.

After Earl’s death in 1972, Caryl moved and in her later years, she volunteered at Saint Stephen’s consignment shop and the Port Washington Library. Caryl could be seen walking all over town until she experienced declining mobility beginning in 2005. Caryl is survived by her brother, Theodore (Ted) Brush; Ted’s children and grandchildren; her daughter, Barbara Sude; Barbara’s husband, Barry; and Barbara’s and Barry’s children, Stacey and Daniel.