Earlier this week – on the morning of the 7th – our beloved Walter Hooper went home to his reward. What a reward, surely, he is going to have! If anything, Walter was a hard-working man who diligently did all he could to ensure that the works of C. S. Lewis would not be lost to the world.
Walter loved to tell his stories, not only of the days when we was with Lewis, but afterwards, as he lived with Warnie, and as he spent countless hours in the Bodleian, going through periodicals – issue by issue – looking for articles written by Lewis. Even as late as 2013 – unless I am missing something more recent – he published C. S. Lewis: Image and Imagination (Cambridge Press), which contained yet two more essays never before published. And then there are the three volumes of letters! Walter not only compiled the letters, but he meticulously sought out every reference and every correspondent he could find. A monumental work of scholarly excellence, indeed!
While we are so very, very thankful for all the work he did, those of us who knew Walter are especially thankful for the memory of his kind godliness. How gracious Walter could be. And his devout love for our Lord was an inspiration. He was always to be found during the week in his pew at the Oratory in Oxford. It was there that I was last able to speak with him after the service, where he read the lessons.
In his 89 years, he made many friends and they have their own stories to tell. His presence at Oxbridge gatherings and at the annual Christmas party of the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society is going to be severely missed. But in our sadness, we will ever and again give thanks for this meek saint, this faithful servant, this brother in the Lord who fulfilled his apostolate.
From the Prayer Book:
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant, Walter Hooper, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we, with them, attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[If you wish to hear the program in which Walter was interviewed in 2015, you may go here to listen.]
Please note that the content and viewpoints of Rev. Beckmann are his own and are not necessarily those of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. We have not edited his writing in any substantial way and have permission from him to post his content.
The Rev. David Beckmann has for many years been involved in both the Church and education. He helped to start a Christian school in South Carolina, tutored homeschoolers, and has been adjunct faculty for both Covenant College and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He founded the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga in 2005. He has spoken extensively on C.S Lewis, and was the Director of the C.S Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns from 2014-2015. He is currently a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Chattanooga.