Mr. Vaughn Elden Hooper, age 86, of Donalsonville, GA passed away Wednesday evening, May 27, 2020 at Donalsonville Hospital. Vaughn is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Rosemary Morgan Hooper; his only grandson, Jon West (Sara) of Atlanta, GA; his sister, Nancy Holmes of California; and, numerous nieces and nephews who brought him much joy and many smiles. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard Everett Hooper and Winifred Adams Hooper; a brother, Loy Hooper; a sister, Dee Berga; and his two sons, Scott Lee Hooper and Todd Michael Hooper. Vaughn was born on March 14, 1934 in Martins Ferry, Ohio and grew up working hard from an early age to help support his family. The Hooper boys did find time for fun, though, both being star athletes at Newport High School in Marietta, Ohio (Class of 1952) where Vaughn believed he still held several track and field records. Vaughn loved basketball. If you spent much time around him, you’ve probably heard about the game-winning, buzzer-beater shot he made from the length of the entire court with his eyes closed. His family always thought this was a “tall tale” until we saw an Ohio newspaper article confirming it. A world-renowned talker, he loved to share memories of his career in the United States Navy. During his 21 years serving our country, he served on vessels including the USS Shenandoah, USS Sierra, USS Tidewater, and the USS Ticonderoga at duty stations in Philadelphia, San Diego, Puerto Rico, Norfolk, and the Pentagon. While Vaughn received a number of citations, commendations, and decorations for his service, the most important was associated with the events that occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin during July of 1964. Yeoman Hooper was serving as Admiral’s Writer under Rear Admiral Robert Moore aboard his flagship, the Ticonderoga, when ships of the US Navy came under attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats representing the beginning of American involvement in that nation’s civil war. Young Vaughn was cited for “exceptionally meritorious service and conspicuous professionalism” for his contributions to the successful counterattack. According to the citation, he demonstrated that he was “fully prepared to meet any situation—anywhere, anytime—to maintain freedom of the seas and defend peace in Southeast Asia in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” Vaughn, who earned a reputation as “the finest @#$%^! YN1 in the whole g___d___d US Navy,” ended his career handling the production of classified war plans and managing the office and projects of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. After retiring from the navy, no stranger to hard work, Vaughn supported his family with jobs that including selling Avon door-to-door, working at a D.C. newspaper, and as a court stenographer in Washington. Eventually, he moved his family to Waynesville, NC to be close to “Rosie’s” sisters. While there, he earned a business degree from Haywood Community College on the G.I. Bill. He loved this time in the mountains with his boys, his wife, and her family, making many friends around Haywood County. In 1976, however, he received a call from his old Navy buddy, Lewis Carter, Jr. to come to Donalsonville to help with the family’s manufacturing company, LMC. Vaughn worked at LMC until he retired again in the 1990s having helped the Carters build their company into one of the world’s most successful producers of peanut processing machinery. He was very proud of the work he did during those years and cherished the many friends and colleagues he made. In the 1990s, the Georgia Peanut Commission named him an Honorary Ambassador for the Georgia Peanut because of his ceaseless work promoting agribusiness everywhere he went. While in the navy, Vaughn caught sight of a young WAVE across a room and announced to his friend, “I’m going to marry that girl.” After dating for just three months, he and Rosemary, who he called “Rosie” and, later, “Mom” began building their family. They were married for 59 years and raised two very special boys who he has missed every day they have been gone. Mr. Hooper often said that, in his life, he ended up being far more successful than he ever expected. He loved going to the beach, dancing, drinking Jack and Coke, piddling around his pool and yard, telling dirty jokes, and taking his family and friends to Walt Disney World where he traveled 108 times and was known as “The Peanut Man.” The Hoopers were one of the first purchasers into the Disney Vacation Club and, on their 100th visit, they were the grand marshals of the Main Street Parade. Having grown up very, very poor, Vaughn was well-acquainted with adversity. His childhood experiences instilled a deep desire to lift up other people’s hearts and ease their paths in life. Perhaps the only thing he was ever really quiet about was his philanthropy—he helped improve the lives of countless people, funding two scholarships and making many numerous private contributions for which he sought no credit or recognition. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that, “…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.” By this measure, Vaughn was incredibly successful. We’ll remember the twinkle in his blue eyes and mischievous grin when he was a bit naughty, his hearty laugh when he thought he was funny, and the warmth of his hugs that let you know he loved you. A graveside service will be held at Friendship Gardens in Donalsonville on Monday, June 1. Rather than flowers, “Super” Hooper requested that, upon his passing, donations be made to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Evans-Skipper Funeral Home.