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Alice Ingram Hooker, longtime supporter of VUMC and Children’s Hospital, dies at 85

Jul. 24, 2019, 3:49 PM

 

Alice Ingram Hooker, a longtime supporter of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and former chair of their boards, died July 23 after an extended illness. She was 85.

Alice Ingram Hooker

Mrs. Hooker, a lifelong Nashvillian, will be remembered for her forthright approach in making a difference, for her lasting kindness and for her deep desire to make Nashville a better place.

Mrs. Hooker was a lifelong community servant to myriad nonprofits devoted to children’s health, sport, education and preservation.

One of her most concerted efforts merged her passion for children’s welfare with her love of horses. She and her husband, Henry Hooker, elevated the Iroquois Steeplechase from a unique sporting event into a citywide fundraiser for Children’s Hospital.

The Hookers were credited with initiating the fundraising union between the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Association and its Iroquois Steeplechase and the Friends of the Children’s Hospital — a 38-year alliance that has raised more than $10 million for the hospital. In 1985, the 44th running of the Steeplechase was dedicated to the Hookers in appreciation. An avid horsewoman, Mrs. Hooker also chaired the Iroquois Steeplechase Advisory Committee.

In addition to Children’s Hospital, the list of organizations that have benefited from Mrs. Hooker’s vision and judgment includes: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Memorial Foundation, Canby Robinson Society, Iroquois Memorial Steeplechase, Cheekwood, the Nashville Symphony, United Way, Leadership Nashville, Project Pencil, the Garden Club of Nashville, the Colonial Dames, Travellers Rest, the Middle Tennessee Pony Club, the Junior League of Nashville, and the Ensworth School.

Mrs. Hooker was keenly interested in children’s health and education. She was devoted to Children’s Hospital for over 50 years, where she was a longtime board member. She became the first woman to serve as chair of the Children’s Hospital board and she was the first woman to chair VUMC’s board, where she served for many years.

“We are all saddened by this loss. I will remember Alice for her warmth and caring, and as someone who was always helping others. For more than five decades she was a passionate supporter of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“There are many wonderful examples of Alice’s impact. In addition to her leadership through the Medical Center’s Advisory Board and as Children’s Hospital Board Chair, she and her late husband Henry were instrumental in the formation of the longstanding relationship between the Volunteer Horseman’s Foundation and Children’s Hospital. This legacy began in 1981 and Steeplechase has since raised more than $10 million to support the healthcare needs of children and families from across the region,” Balser said.

Mrs. Hooker was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Henry Williamson Hooker, and brothers Erskine Bronson Ingram II and Frederic (Fritz) Bigelow Ingram. She is survived by her sister, Patricia Ingram Hart (Rodes Hart), and sister-in-law Martha Rivers Ingram; her children Bradford Williamson Hooker (Jamie Ball), Lisa Hooker Campbell (John Palmer Campbell III), and Timothy Ingram Hooker; her grandchildren Henry Williamson Hooker II, Alexander Guy Hooker, Alice Hooker Campbell, Eileen Campbell Hart (Christopher Forbes Hart), John Palmer Campbell IV, Charles Ingram Hooker, Heather Louise Hooker and great-grand-daughter, Evelyn Elisabeth Hart, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Attn: Gift and Donor Services, 3322 West End Ave., Ste. 900, Nashville, TN 37203), Cheekwood (1200 Forrest Park Dr., Nashville, TN 37205), The Ensworth School (211 Ensworth Ave., Nashville, TN  37205), or the charity of one’s choice.

Visitation with the family will be held at Hunting Hollow on Monday, July 29, from 3 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville on Tuesday, July 30, at 10 a.m. with burial immediately following the service at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

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