Jerry R. Hoover

June 26, 1932March 21, 2019
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Jerry R. Hoover passed away on Thursday March 21, 2019, at Deaconess Hospital with his loving family at his side. Mr. Hoover was born on June 26, 1932 in Evansville, Indiana to parents Charles B “Chuck” and Catherine Hoover who preceded him in death.

After serving his country as the Director of the 1st Armored Division Chorus of the United States Army, Mr. Hoover began his teaching career where he inspired countless students to not only love music but to strive for excellence in all they do. Twenty-four years were spent at North High School as the Vocal Music Director where the Performing Arts Center now bears his name. Mr. Hoover directed seventeen musicals and presented Handel’s Messiah annually with full orchestra. He also directed summer musicals at Mesker Starlite Theater. Mr. Hoover helped thousands of students discover the joy of singing in a choir and performing in musical theater. Countless other students have studied with him in his private studio and have gone on to further their careers at universities, conservatories, and on stages all across the world. The last twenty years of his career in public education were spent as a guidance counselor at Harrison High School.

A 1949 graduate of Central High School, Mr. Hoover completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree at Evansville College and a Masters of Music degree at Indiana University. He also completed doctoral work in vocal pedagogy. Later, he returned to college to earn a School Counselor Certification. Mr. Hoover was active in many professional organizations and honor societies. He received numerous awards for his contributions to fine arts, most notably he received an honor tribute from the Evansville Philharmonic, and he was named an Honorary Singing Hoosier for the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in gratitude for the number of his music students who went on to sing in that renowned group. Mr. Hoover was a consummate musician, a gifted organist, and skilled accompanist. His music was always a reflection of his deep Christian faith. He served as the Director of Music at Trinity United Methodist Church for 40 years where he was intentional in selecting and performing music that would glorify God during each worship service.

His legacy as a teacher and musician is only surpassed by his commitment to his family and the legacy he leaves behind through them.

He is survived by the love of his life, JoAnn, with whom he shared 55 years of mutual devotion. He is also survived by his sons Brian (Darla), Brent (Stephanie) and six grandchildren Josh (Jacqueline), Riley, Jared, Ethan, Conor, and Lauren and great-grandson Hunter.

The family would like to thank Dr. Eric Steed Jackson and staff, Dr. Muhammad Habib and staff, Dr. Emil Weber, and the nurses and staff of the 4800 Unit at Deaconess Midtown. We were blessed to have them at our side during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Public Education Foundation (Jerry Hoover Summer Musical Memorial on the memo line), PO Box 1163, Evansville, Indiana, 47706 or a charity of your choice.

Alexander North Funeral Home is entrusted with care. The visitation and funeral will be held at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 5130 Lincoln Avenue in Evansville, Indiana 47715. Friends may call from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, March 24, and from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 25. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. A private burial will follow. The Reverend Doug Heiman and the Reverend George Purnell will officiate.

Mr. Hoover never sought the spotlight for himself. Rather, his mission in life was to spread love, teach others to believe in themselves, and to glorify God through music. He often quoted these words from the late Oscar Hammerstein II, “A bell is no bell ‘til you ring it. A song is no song ‘til you sing it. And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love ‘til you give it away.”


  • JoAnn Hoover, Wife of 55 years
  • Brian Hoover (Darla), Son
  • Brent Hoover (Stephanie), Son
  • Josh Hoover (Jacqueline), Grandchild
  • Riley Hoover, Grandchild
  • Jared Hoover, Grandchild
  • Ethan Hoover, Grandchild
  • Conor Hoover, Grandchild
  • Lauren Hoover, Grandchild
  • Hunter Hoover, Great-Grandson


  • Visitation Sunday, March 24, 2019
  • Visitation Monday, March 25, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, March 25, 2019

Jerry R. Hoover

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lois Meckel Irvin

April 2, 2019

Mrs Hoover and family,
Your husband had a great impact on my brother (Steve Meckel) and myself. I was in his choir at North and also took private lessons
at your home. I have always had a love for music and singing. Mr. Hoover helped to develope that love to its fullest degree. We will keep you all in our prayers!
In Christ’s Love,
Lois Meckel Irvin

Randy Shepard

April 1, 2019

To Mrs. Hoover and the family,
There are thousands of us whose lives were enriched by Jerry Hoover’s many acts of teaching and kindness. We are grateful for your willingness to support him in such a remarkable career.
I learned a great deal about music and about life as he coached me through musicals at Mesker decades ago. He’s been a great example. Our best to you all.
Randy Shepard

Waneta Hart

March 26, 2019

JoAnn: We were so sorry to learn of Jerry's passing. Though we can't imagine the loss you must feel, what a comfort to know he's with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we'll join him in Heaven one day! Hold fast to all those wonderful memories and trust in God. He is good and will see you through these difficult days. I can't think of anyone who has had more influence in the musical development of our schools and encouraged the talents of so many students. What a legacy! Please extend our heart-felt sympathies to your wonderful family.
Love & Prayers,
Art and Waneta Hart

Ron and Norma Bray Faust

March 26, 2019

You are in our prayers and have our sympathy.

Melissa (Missy) Brundick McNabb

March 26, 2019

Hello family of Jerry Hoover,
I wanted to send a note to offer my condolences on the death of your incredible family member, Mr. Hoover. As a fellow musician in Evansville, I have long admired Mr. Hoover's musical skills, integrity, and work with his students. Having sent several male singers to Dr. Hoover, I was impressed with how he enhanced and magnified these students' talents providing them with hope and employment in their futures.

I will miss Dr. Hoover and will pray for his well deserved union with God.
God bless you all,
Melissa Brundick McNabb, Ph.D

Deborah Baker

March 25, 2019

I met Mr. Hoover and was from the class of 1977 at North. I had the honor of being a part of the concert choir and the Jordanaire's group. Mr. Hoover set a level for us that was above par. His example was outstanding, and his ability was unmatched in my world of music. Being in choir under his leadership was one of my most memorable experiences of high school. I pray that his family finds strength and all that they need as they transition into this season of new normals.

Wayne Roberts

March 24, 2019

Like so many, I am grateful to and for Mr. Hoover. My name is Wayne Roberts. I am a member of the first class of North High School...1956. And, a member of the first four-year graduating class of North (1960).
My "claim to fame" is that I was the "lead" in the very first North High Musical, "Kittiwake Island"; followed by "Girl Crazy" and "The King And I".
Mr. Hoover was the organist for my wedding in 1965. He was instrumental in my attending Evansville College, majoring in Music Education and graduating in 1964.
Jerry Hoover has always been a wonderful example: as a teacher and mentor, as a caring and nurturing person, as a Christian, and in so many other areas of life.
Thank you, Mr. Hoover, for your investment in my life and for what you will always mean to me...and so many others, I'm sure, who feel the same.

Susan Rech Wilcox

March 24, 2019

I shared a lengthy tribute to Mr. Hoover on Facebook - Susan Rech Wilcox. This page is not long enough, so I'll tell you more, since there were SO many things I shared with him and experienced with Mr. Hoover that I owe him gratitude for. These were left out of my FB tribute! He designed Mr. North contest. How brilliant he was at grooming young men to love being masculine but also musical! He was just inspired in all he did. He picked me to play a singing part in my freshman year, only to later say he couldn't use me because the orchestra needed me. My tears must have softened his heart, but still didn't get me the part of the maid in MY FAIR LADY. However, by the time I was a junior and in his choirs, he developed CHILDREN'S MUSICALS, for which he played piano and orchestra was not a problem. I got to play a Fairy Godmother. I was privileged to watch his conducting up close during 5 musicals I played under his direction at North High School. I will be grateful for his part in those summer musicals at the Mesker Ampitheatre, of which I was also a part. It was because of this man I gained a dignity and respect for music and later became a music teacher myself. There was only one choir teacher like this man, and I've witnessed them all over the West and back home in Indiana. Just no comparison. I received a scholarship from nowhere in my senior year. Mr. Hoover - maybe in heaven you can let me know how I got a full scholarship in music without AUDITIONING? At your former college - ? My mystery donor is still a mystery.....I know Jerry is in heaven with other loved ones. I know ALL of us will have a reunion with this amazing man. I can't be there and I'm devastated. Please know my heart will be with you tomorrow at the funeral and wish you peace.

Amy Powers

March 24, 2019

My condolences to his family. He was such a wonderful person. I was his helper in the office at Harrison High School. He would always tell me how much he appreciated my help. He would even trust me with helping out with the paperwork for testing. When I graduated in 93, he gave me a really nice Pen. He was one whom I have never forgotten over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family!

Amy Powers (Powell)

August (Gus) J Blaxton

March 24, 2019

Peace and Love to the Hoover Family. Jerry was such a wonderful and gifted Human Being, so Blessed by God with so many gifts he so greatly used to carry on His Love on this Earth. May Jerry be totally engulfed with The Love and Care of His Creator God. I'm sure Jerry's work is not finished but continues in Heaven. May Almighty God Bless each and every one of you as you grieve his loss to this earth, as He Welcomes Jerry into His Heavenly Kingdom.

I was a student at North High and graduated in 1967.