Travis Clinton Hooser, 93, crossed over Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. He was born May 9th, 1927 in Honey Grove, Texas. He spent his teenage years picking cotton and running a cotton gin in Girard, Texas, to help support his Mom, Dad, (a disabled Veteran of WW1) and eight younger siblings before being drafted into the Army during WWII. After his discharge, he used his mustering out bonus to pay off the family farm.
After eight years of welding at Jack Harmon’s Tank Company in Lubbock, Texas, he met Alexa Sue Fambrough from Alamogordo, New Mexico. At the time he was a drummer for Odell Wilson’s Country Western Band (Bob Will’s cousin). He got into a jam when Odell scheduled a rodeo dance the same day Sue planned the wedding.
They married in the afternoon May 30, 1953, and took off for Plainview, Texas, for the dance - with Sue’s high school dancing partner. Travis drummed all night while she danced…Upon reflecting he said “I’m probably the only man in the world that took my new wife and her old boyfriend along with me on my honeymoon!”
Travis came to Alamogordo in 1956 to work as an aircraft welder at the High Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base. One interesting task he had in his early years was making potty chairs for the space chimps. The next thirty years was spent building the fastest vehicles to travel on the surface of the earth. He was supervisor of the welding and heat-treating shops when he retired in 1985.
He was a builder. Over the years, he built four homes for his family - three in Alamogordo and one in Alto, New Mexico. He also helped his sons build their homes, developed four subdivisions and built an RV Park while maintaining numerous rentals.
As a volunteer, he teamed with others to build Mountain View Baptist Church west of town, and when he and his kids started playing softball, he led volunteers to update/build the TRAVIS C. HOOSER BALLFIELD COMPLEX on Walker Road. Local businessmen donated materials and equipment and Travis and numerous other ballplayers furnished blood and sweat. According to Marian McQuidy, local news reporter, the city wound up with a $600,000.00 ballpark - the original foreplex of the current ballpark. Some said he must have been born “with a hammer in his hand and creativity in his heart.”
His love of music began as a child when he taught himself how to play the harmonica and mandolin. He continued with the fiddle and drums when he and Sue and the kids formed a family band that played for Senior Citizen’s dances, civic functions and countless jam sessions. They also structured and performed with community talent in Hometown Grand Ole Oprys to fund Sue’s SUSPRENO CAMPS for kids in need, He taught six grandchildren to play the fiddle, one of whom toured with the Sons of the Pioneers. The family made three albums of music “No Greater Love,” “Lavender Rose,” and “Mr. Fiddle, Mr. Banjo and a Piano Named Sue”. Travis also authored his autobiography “Kids, Cotton fields, and Yellow Cowboy Boots” and co-produced Sue’s movie “Elementary Prayers” about the Suspreno program.
His second love was sports - the Braves and Cowboys were his favorites. At various times he coached Little League baseball, and Girls League fast pitch softball, and then a Men’s Softball Team - The Podunks - who were City Champs for a decade. Travis served as USSSA Director for many years and built the city slow pitch league from 7 teams in 1988 to 107 in 2005. He was inducted into the New Mexico State USSSA HALL OF FAME in 2002 and was awarded a grand trophy at the State Banquet.
He suffered a serious time when he wrecked his pickup in 2000. It was only after two flights to Albuquerque, several operations on his brain and heart, multiple miracles and three years of rehab that he returned to us. His family was with him every moment and was a major factor in his recovery.
Travis had a unique sense of humor ALL the time. It seemed EVERYONE left his room with laughter in their heart. He was a Deacon, a Freemason, and a cheerful and willing helper to anyone who needed it - very kind hearted and active in the community - but his true love was his family. They were his kingdom and he was loved beyond measure. We were so blessed that all family members were able to say goodbye to him and wish him God speed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vyda Margaret Bowden and Joseph Fletcher Hooser, siblings Guy Francis (Tex) Hooser (Edie), Horace Houston Hooser, Loudena Edgar Brooks (J.R.), Jack Bowden Hooser (Christine), Alene Yett (Brent), Prentiss Edwin Hooser (Barbara), Mary Margaret Drennon (Paul), Joseph Wendell (Dub) Hooser (Ruth), Ola Ellen Armstrong, Virginia Louise Hooser and Hurley Dwayne Hooser.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Alexa Sue Fambrough Hooser, and children: Michael Duane Hooser, (Ann), Vicki Sue Hooser and Clinton Dwayne Hooser. His grand-children are Preston Wayne Eldridge, (Rhonda), Cody Allen Eldridge, Dana Nicole Nichols (Fernie), Jared Duane Hooser, Kayla Korin Hooser, Callie Renae Jackson, (Matt), Cresta Nell Hooser, and Sean Kyle Hooser (Mackenzi). Great-grandchildren are Tatum and Jasmin Linares, Rhiannon Eldridge, Brooklyn, Braden and Bryson Jackson, Brea and R.J. Shaw, Andrew Herrera, and Taya and Bowden Wilson. He is also survived by one brother, James Arnett Hooser, a brother-in-law, Von Armstrong, a sister-in-law Barbara Hooser, a niece, Debbie “Dub” Jarrett (Kerry) and many other Hoosers across the United States. Special friends were Sarah Houghteling, Carlos and Lucy Meza.
The family was grateful to have Ambercare Hospice nurses Alicia, Chelsea, and Kimberly aiding with his care. Very special gratitude is extended to family members Dana, Vicki, Mike and Clint who helped keep a vigil the last few months as we tenderly and lovingly walked our hero home.
Due to Covid mass gathering restrictions, a Celebration of Life will be planned at a later date.
The Hooser family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Travis Hooser, please visit our floral store.