PORT ARTHUR — November 20, 1952- April 14, 2013
Mary Elise Strange Hooks, 60, passed away on April 14, 2013 in Port Arthur, Texas at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, November 20, 1952. Her parents are Robert Tinsley Strange, Sr. and the late Violette Elise Braswell Strange. As she was often quoted, “I was born a Yankee, but got to Texas as fast I could.” Mary was raised and lived all of her life in Port Neches. She was the wife of Vernon J Hooks for over 41 years, and a proud mother of their baby girl, Marcie Elise Hooks McClellan. However, she was “Mama Mary”, “Crazy Mary”, and the “Purple Lady” to many other people blessed to have her in their lives. She was as wonderful grandmother to Natasha Brazil McClellan of California.
Mary Hooks graduated from Port Neches-Groves High School, attended Lamar University, and worked many long years in retail businesses. She was currently working at Kirkland’s in Beaumont where she excelled at selling and making a myriad of friends. Mary loved her friends with a passion that was only matched by her love of her PNG Indians. Whatever she did, she did it with her full heart as her many friends and family members can testify. She was an avid pet lover who rescued animals just like she did people. She loved collecting many different things and “antiquing”. She was a chapter queen of the Red Hat Society and also a member of Central Baptist Church of Port Neches.
Mary is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Juanita and Smead Braswell, her paternal grandparents, Violet Helen Cotton (“the grandmother that loved her”) and Dr. Skyler Cotton, as well as her other parents TJ “Pop” Hooks and Cleo “Mimi” Hooks. She is survived by her three siblings, Ann Woodall, Port Neches, Bob Strange, Warren, and Sanford Strange, Anchorage, Alaska, their spouses, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great- nieces. She is also survived by her in-laws, James and Carolyn Hooks, Flower Mound, Texas and their children and grandchildren. She is also survived by her “adopted children”, Lori Lawson, Alyssa Simmons, Starlyn Arline, Lauren Nichols, Charis Moreno, Tammy Shutter, Susi Walker, Cassie Hartman, and her “Little Lisa”.
Visitation is planned for Wednesday, April 17 from 5 - 8:00 p.m. at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches and funeral services will be at Central Baptist Church, Port Neches, Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The family requests that visitors dress casually and wear PURPLE to honor Mary’s deep love of her PNG Indians. Memorial donations can be made to the Diabetes Association or the Humane Society of Southeast Texas.