Zelda A. Hoover
This photo of Charles and Zelda Hoover was taken around the time of their wedding in 1946. (Submitted photo / April 28, 2012)
“We never a got a pass to get out of church on Sundays,” Lauren said.
For six decades, Zelda sang in the choir and other church ensembles, played the piano most recently for the Men’s Choir and with the Junior Department, as well as teaching Sunday school, both for 50 years. She also was known for sending cards for special occasions or to cheer people up.
About 20 years ago, Zelda started talking about having a military memorial service for Kenny some day at her funeral. During Zelda’s final hospitalization, Christa and Lauren began planning a funeral that included a military tribute to Kenny.
“That’s what she wanted,” Lauren said. “We tried the best we could to honor her requests.”
Without a body, the U.S. Army would not participate in the service, but with the help of U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s staff, there was a memorial service with the folding and presentation of P.O.W. and American flags, taps and a gun salute with AMVETS Post 10 and Rolling Thunder.
“We are extremely grateful to them,” Lauren said.
Once the tribute to Kenny was complete, Zelda’s funeral service began. Music was a big part of her life, so the service was filled with music.
Music also was part of the children’s lives. Lauren was in band in middle and high school, Christa in band during middle school and in chorus in high school, with the Hoovers supporting their children and volunteering with booster organizations for those activities. Christa also was required to take piano lessons.
“Whatever activity we were in, they were there,” Lauren said.
Anybody who knew Zelda knew of her weekly routine, from which she rarely deviated for about 70 years. There was a set day for grocery shopping, for laundry and ironing or hair appointments, Thursday and Friday were cleaning days.
“The only modern convenience she embraced was the microwave,” said Lauren, who added that she used an electric typewriter for notes because she didn’t think her handwriting was legible.
Most Saturdays, Zelda baked, just in case somebody would stop by for a visit. And her family knew not to call her during her favorite TV shows — “The Price is Right,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”
Described as determined and strong-willed, attributed in part to her German-Irish heritage, Zelda always had incentive to recover quickly once she started having seizures and breaking bones in 2005.
Her only grandchild, Billy Stewart, was the apple of her eye and she was insistent that she would see him graduate from West Virginia University with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Not only did she make it to the May 2010 graduation, two months later Zelda got to dance at his wedding.
Zelda requested that donations be made to Washington County Korean Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 868, Funkstown, MD 21734.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Zelda A. Hoover, who died April 16 at the age of 88. Her obituary was published in the April 17 edition of The Herald-Mail.