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North Halls diamonds
Aubrey and Etheleen Hooper look back at 60 years together
Etheleen, left, and Aubrey Hooper celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Aug. 28. The Hoopers live in North Hall and have three children and four grandchildren. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The Hoopers' living room tells the couple's story nearly as much as their words.

A plaque tells of Aubrey Hooper's service in World War II and a row of pictures of children and grandchildren shows the fruits of a long, cherished marriage.

Against the wall is a grandfather clock made by Etheleen Hooper's brother-in-law as a gift for the couple. A cabinet in the corner contains Etheleen's precious bell collection.

The couple celebrated their 60th anniversary in August at their home off Ledan Road, surrounded by family. They marked the occasion with photographs that Etheleen happily shares.

It's not been a perfect 60 years, but "it has been more good than it has bad," Etheleen said.

"I reckon when you get mad, you don't just say anything and you walk away. He won't fuss with me and I'm not going to fuss with him."

The Hoopers' history began long before their wedding day on Aug. 28, 1948, in the home of a schoolteacher and minister they knew.

Aubrey, a White County native whose family moved to Hall when he was a boy, and Etheleen, a Murrayville native, have known each other since they were 11 or 12.

They grew up friends, attending the same North Hall schools.

"He and his older sisters stayed at our house a lot," she said.

She later moved to another house, but Aubrey and his sister continued to visit.

"He left, went into the service and I didn't think I'd see him anymore," said Etheleen, 81.

Aubrey, 82, returned after 2 1/2 years in the Army, where he served in the 17th Airborne Division in Central Europe, and the couple later married.

"I sort of liked him," she said, with a laugh.

"She was interesting," he said.

Etheleen worked at Chicopee Manufacturing Co. for about 12 years and spent nearly another dozen years as a lunchroom worker, mostly at Lanier Elementary School in North Hall.

Aubrey worked at hosiery and cotton mills before becoming a poultry inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He retired in 1990 and she in 1992.

The couple has three children: Douglas, 55, Donald, 54 and Dana Wigley, 50. They have four grandchildren: Melanie, Ashley, Alex and Andy.

The Hoopers, charter members of Northlake Baptist Church in Murrayville, said they have enjoyed traveling over the years.

"Every summer, we'd go down to St. Petersburg (Fla.). We went there when the boys were just real small, but we couldn't travel much with three children," Etheleen said.

"We'd go every once in a while, but as they got older, they would go with schools to different places."

The couple traveled on their 60th anniversary, taking in North Georgia scenery and stopping at an antique shop and a restaurant.

"We went riding all day," she said.

From the home they've lived in since 1960 or 1961, the Hoopers have seen many changes over the year in the North Hall landscape.

Dirt roads became paved and roads that didn't exist at one time are crowded with cars.

"We've got a race track out there," Aubrey said, speaking of Ledan Road, which spans busy Thompson Bridge and Sardis roads.

These days, the Hoopers enjoy relaxing at home.

They have "fairly good health," said Aubrey, an avid reader of historical fiction.

"I dig a lot in the yard and he goes to the garden," Etheleen said.

Overall, life has had its peaks and valleys, "but there's nothing we haven't been able to work out so far," she said.

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