Rev. Thomas Loper wore many hats…literally.
The 92 year old was an avid collector of silly hats and socks.
“The hats started years ago,” said Angela, Tom’s wife of 66 years. “They matched his crazy sense of humor.”
And the socks?
“He had 52 pairs,” Angela said about her late husband’s collection. “I had no idea.”
Tom had two drawers full of them plus shoe boxes stored in his closet with special holiday-themed ones. He donned striped socks, argyle socks, hot dog socks, Disney socks…presidential socks. Say what?!
He made a donation to the Republican National Committee years ago and they sent him a pair of George H.W. Bush socks as a thank you. Since then, Tom committed himself to always having fun feet. And others joined in to help!
“His collection grew as our family and friends and people at church started adding to it,” Angela said.
It was only fitting then that at Tom’s visitation at Heritage last week that his collection of socks and hats was on display. His socks hung around his casket and from clothesline around the room. His hats were on display on tables and in the flower arrangements. Tom also enjoyed 1000-piece puzzles, so the family set out a 300-piece puzzle with a sign, “Please help Tom finish his puzzle!”
“As soon as Tom’s family told me about the socks and the hats, I told them they had to bring them in for the visitation,” said Life Story Funeral Director Paul Uzarski, adding that they thought there might be too many.
“I told them to bring them all in. Tom’s hats and socks tell a special part of his life story; they are uniquely Tom and serve as connecting points to both him and his family.”
The pallbearers wore Tom’s socks at his funeral and all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren got to pick out a pair and one of his hats to remind them of their grandpa.
“We are always looking for creative and interactive ways to tell someone’s life story and to keep their memories alive,” Paul said.
You can read more about Tom’s life and share a memory of your own on his personal memory page.