Mrs. Jean Knott Hooks died on June 7, 2015. She spent the last few days of her life being cared for by family, and the wonderful staff of doctors and nurses at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice and Palliative Care. Jean was born on April 9th, 1931 in Oxford, N.C. to Pearl McGimpsey Knott and Jesse Hardaway Knott. She was preceded in death by her parents and by a brother, Jesse H. Knott, Jr. and her in laws, Selma and Gaylor Hooks. She attended high school in Kinston, NC, where she excelled on the debate team, and Wake Forest College, before marrying Gene Hooks on February 18, 1951.
She helped her husband through a career of professional baseball and a PHD in Education at Peabody Vanderbilt University. The couple began their professional careers at Wake Forest University in 1956. Gene became athletic director in 1964 and Jean became Business Manager of Athletics the following year. After three years she was able to successfully balance the athletic departments budget and was asked to join the University business office to develop a wage and salary manual. She was later chosen to be the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid for the WFU Law School. It was during her work in this position that she recognized the recruiting advantages if she would have if she took the lead in integrating computers into the law school. She led the way in the purchase, installation and development of the law school’s computer program that was the forerunner to the university’s program.
She retired from WFU as the Director of Computer Services. After retirement, She once again joined her husband to pursue an entirely new field. Gene became Director of the 1A Athletic Director’s Association and she became his partner. In addition, they became associated with ISP, a sports marketing company. They managed a segment of the company that successfully associated member Division 1A schools with the MCI long distance telephone service which enabled the schools to generate revenue for their athletic scholarship program. The company was named Funding Alternatives for Non Profits. After separating from ISP, Jean became Chief Financial Officer of the company and her wisdom and tenacity were major factors in the company’s great success.
Jean’s hobbies included attending many WFU football and basketball games with her family and friends. She was also an exceptional bridge player and in her retirement years became a very successful financial investor. Jean loved the water. Their homes in later years included a lake, a pond or ocean and let her explore her love of birds, boats and wildlife. She was a devoted member of Knollwood Baptist Chruch and attended regularly until her declining health forced her to stop.
Jean is survived by her husband of 64 years Dr. Gene Hooks and by three devoted sons and their wives, David and Lisa Hooks of Cary, NC, Dennis and Perry Hooks of Bethesda, MD, and Michael and Linda Hooks of Charlotte, NC; and nine grandchildren, Jessica, Daniel, David, Dillon, Julia, Battle Beasley, Olivia, Ryan, and Evan. And, one great-grandson, Duncan. Her brother-in-law, Dr Alvin Hooks, of River Hills, SC and his family and a sister-in-law, Helen Smith of Annandale VA and her family also survive her. The family would like to thank a wonderful doctor and friend, Dr. Jeff Williamson; also the caring doctors and staff at the Kate B Reynolds Hospice Care in Winston Salem. In addition she was the benefactor of the wonderful spiritual support of Dr. Bob Setzer, Knollwood Baptist Church, and his staff. The family is also indebted to Scott Hanes and his excellent staff at Bermuda Village for their assistance during Jean’s illness.
Services will be held at Knollwood Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 9th at 2:00 PM. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the church. A private service will follow for the family at Forsyth Memorial Park cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Knollwood Baptist Church, 330 Knollwood Street, Winston Salem, NC 27104; Kate B. Reynolds Hospice, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston Salem, NC 27103 or a charity of choice.
Online condolences may be made through www.salemfh.com