Millicent P. Hooper graduated from William Penn High School in 1936, attending Temple University, Majoring in music, until her father’s untimely death in July of 1939. She then attended Renouard Training School for Embalmers in NY City and became the youngest to pass the State Board of Funeral Directors Examination and the first woman to obtain a funeral director’s license in Dauphin County, in 1941.
Although Millicent had to overcome many adversities as a young black business woman, the loss of her father and the responsibilities of running a business, she accomplished much. For instance to assist her family’s income, she would do trade work as an embalmer in local funeral parlors, careful to remember the rules, come when it was dark, use the rear entrance, and leave before daylight.
Millicent also empowered her family and community by participating in various memberships, organizations and associations. She was a member of the Advisory Committee for the US Commissions on Civil Rights, the League of Women Voters, the Eastern Star, Chapter #1, to name a few and her various associations included; the first woman president of the United Cerebral Palsy Center, a Board member of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, the Keystone Funeral Directors and Quaker City Funeral Directors, Dauphin County Funeral Directors, Board member of the Urban League of Harrisburg, Board Member of American for a Competitive Enterprise System (ACES) as well as other associations and memberships and including the sponsoring the 1st Little League Baseball organization in the William Howard Day Projects, the re-opening of Sun Shine Park.
Millicent had an unmatchable drive and determination that all people should have the same rights and opportunities within this community and commonwealth and with every breath in her; she was determined to make this community, this county and the state accessible to all.
Thus, the Millicent Hooper Foundation was established in her memory to assist young persons of all faiths; nationalities and genders, who have loss a parent due to an untimely passing. The Foundation will assist financially as an educational resource through scholarships. As well as Mentor enhancement programs in establishing and fulfilling goals towards achieving one’s educational possibilities. In that each and every child should have the opportunity to pursue an education, and the desire to lift themselves up and forward with the support of one’s community. The Foundations ultimate reward would be that recipients in turn will follow in Millicent Hooper’s humanitarian traditions.