Jerry Hooley

Rev. Jerald “Jerry” Keith Hooley, 86, of Arkansas City, died Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at Presbyterian Manor.

Cremation has been effected. A celebration of life is at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 at First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Stephanie Wall-Brown will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Arkansas City First United Methodist Church or the Parkinson’s Foundation. Contributions can be made through the funeral home.

Arrangements are under the direction of Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences can be made at

Jerry was born Dec. 4, 1933, in Enid, Okla., to Jesse F. Hooley and Ruth E. Newingham Hooley, and raised in Enid with his brothers, Jesse Jr. and Jon. He began his preaching career at Central Christian Church at the age of 17. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in 1953 during the Korean War. He married the love of his life, Mary Ann Clark Hooley, and continued as a fill-in preacher for churches in Southern California. The family, including Jessie and Jeri Kay, returned to Enid at the end of his honorable service to his country to complete his education at Phillips University.

After graduation he attended Phillips Seminary, serving the Disciples of Christ Church at Deer Creek, Okla., where Daniel was born, and later the Federated Church at Wilmore, where Karen was born. After seminary, he served the Disciples of Christ Church in Oaklawn and it was there he was called to serve the United Methodist Church. He served in the former Kansas West Annual Conference, Hutchinson First, Oxford, Plains, Wichita Trinity and Arkansas City First. He and Rev. Wayne Finley started the Citizenship Seminars in the 1960s, taking groups of high school seniors to New York and Washington, D.C., to meet with church leaders and politicians for many years. He also served for eight years as the vice chair of the Kansas West Board of Ordained Ministry.

After retirement, he served Cassoday UMC and started a carpentry business with his children, Dan and Karen. He also became an adjunct professor at Cowley College. Later, he served as an interim pastor for Presbyterian churches in Arkansas City, Derby and Winfield. He was also called into service to his community on the City of Arkansas City Council, and served four terms as mayor. Among the accomplishments during that time were protecting the city water system, building the dike to prevent flooding and the by-pass around town. He received the 2001 Salvation Army Harry Long Civic Award for his service to the community.

He was preceeded in death by his parents; brothers; son, Daniel; daughter-in-law, Lisa; and all of his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Ann; daughters, Rev. Jessie Zimmerman, Jeri Kay (Rev. Dr. Richard) Reed, and Karen Tingley; his grandchildren, Keith Zimmerman, Keri Ann Zimmerman, Stephen Reed, Mary Ruth (Bryan) Hooper, Freyja Hooley, Jere Tingley, Joe Hooley, Elizabeth “Libby” Hooley and Rose (Mayumi) Hooley; six great-grandchildren; and a plethora of nieces and nephews.

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