Simeon Wirt Hooper Jr. | AspenTimes.com

Simeon Wirt Hooper Jr.

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Simeon Wirt Hooper Jr.. 89, of Carbondale, Colo., passed away Oct. 8, 2011 with his family by his side.

Simeon was born June 7, 1922 in Albertville, Ala. to Simeon and Jennie Hooper. He married Mary Ann Mayes Sept. 25, 1947 at St. George’s Church in Louisville, Ken. Wirt worked as an aerospace engineer; he also proudly served his country in World War II as part of the elite and highly-secret Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO), also known as “Saco Tigers” and “The Rice Paddy Navy.” The men of SACO served hundreds of miles behind enemy lines in China, establishing vital weather stations to the Pacific Fleet, watching the coast to report on enemy shipping, rescuing downed Allied airmen and being involved in numerous other military, medical and humanitarian endeavors.

During Wirt’s career in aerospace, he worked on space projects including Pioneer, Galileo and the Challenger.

He is survived by sons Steve (Lisa), Sam (LeeAnn) and James (Evelyn); daughters Margot Earley Fishman (David) and Mary Alexis; and dear friends Jean Lohof and Dorothy Mae Jacobson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann Hooper, son Scott Wirt Hooper, brother James Meredith Hooper and grandson James Aenea Hooper.

There will be a graveside service with military salute on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, Calif. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s organization (www.alz.org).