Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 22, 2013

Sharon Hooper Locke

The Athens Review

Athens — Sharon Hooper Locke died surrounded by her daughters in Austin on Jan. 18, 2013. 

 Born in 1926, the dear daughter of Stanley and Mildred Hooper, her early signs of musical talent prompted her parents to have a Steinway grand piano delivered to their home in Horatio, Ark.

Sharon became an accomplished pianist who was celebrated in her early years, and honored with a scholarship to SMU, where she studied piano before continuing her studies at the University of Texas in Austin.

Marriage to Lt. W. Grim Locke in 1948 sent Sharon across the globe. Her four daughters were born in Massachusetts, Okinawa, California and Alabama.  With four girls in tow, the family then moved to Bangkok, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The family returned to Texas in 1969, and over the next 40 years Sharon lived in Dallas, Houston, College Station and, finally, Austin, where she was happy to be near her beloved sister, Charmaine Hooper Denius and her husband Frank Denius.

 In Bangkok, Sharon pushed her assigned chauffeur into the back seat, and drove through the teeming streets herself.

In Bethesda, in the mid-60s, she discovered politics and activism, and rode her bicycle around town long before cycling was considered cool.

In Dallas in the early ‘70s, when Sharon was asked to run for the DISD School Board, she transformed herself into an intrepid public speaker, and was a voice for moral courage and social change in her campaign.

Although she lost that election, she never lost her commitment to making a difference in the world as her many letters to newspapers make plain.

Sharon Hooper Locke was the unquestioned center of a loving productive creative family of artists, financiers, lawyers, bakers, activists and athletes.

Survivors include four daughters, Charmaine Locke and her husband James Surls, Charisse Locke Mayer and her husband David Mayer, Sharon Locke Reed and her husband Rod Reed, and Stacey Locke.  nine grandchildren (Ruby, Lily, Eva and Molly Locke Surls, Albert, Zachary and Austin Mayer and Andrew and William Reed) and one great-grandchild, Aberdeen Kennedy.

Also survived by her former husband W. Grim Locke, and Sharon's nephew, Wofford Denius and his wife Beth, niece Charmaine and her husband Gordon McGill, her niece Stephanie Hooper Finamore and her husband Paul and their children.

All were privileged to learn from her lifelong example of engaged intelligence, and conscientious compassionate participation in the world.

Complex and contradictory, brilliant and beautiful, she was the prettiest piano player ever.  

Calling hours for family and friends will be at her home Thursday, Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home – 512-452-8811. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at