Martin (Marty) Hook passed away at home, surrounded by family, on September 9, 2016 after a battle with cancer. He was born in 1952 and grew up in Bolivar, Missouri, son of Kenneth and Velma Hook who predeceased him. His wife, Sally, survives him as well as sons Benjamin (Kara, spouse), and Joseph (Lalainia Broers, spouse); grandsons Sebastian and Greyson; and brother, Bruce Hook (Barbara, spouse). Other surviving family members include brother-in-law Fred VanCamp (sister Mosel, deceased); nieces and nephews Bret VanCamp, Michelle Lee, John VanCamp, Heather Kingsfield, and Aaron Creech; aunt Beulah Parker; and cousins Dale, Doug, John, James, Wade and Wayne.
Marty earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974 from Southwest Baptist College majoring in music education with emphasis in trombone. After graduating with a masters degree in choral conducting from the University of Kansas in 1977, he taught choral music in Pratt, Kansas. In 1980, he accepted the position of choral educator at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. Although he completed many hours of graduate work at Mizzou, he proudly and humorously defended the Jayhawks in Tiger country. His work at as an educator, his students, and his family gave him great happiness.
His career brought many concerts, choral events, musical theatre productions, and international trips with students to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Andorra, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and Italy. Some memories he treasured about these travels were when his students won first-place at an international choral festival in Vienna, and when he conducted the final high school concert of his career at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In the final years before his retirement from Columbia Public Schools (CPS) he served as the Coordinator of Fine Arts. He also served as president of the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) from 1998-2000, and during the last 4.5 years as co-editor of Missouri School Music magazine. Some awards he received included “Outstanding Educator” from CPS, Hall of Fame recipient from MMEA in 2010, and “Outstanding Retired Educator” from the CPS Foundation in the 2013 Hall of Leaders. The choirs and people of Missouri United Methodist Church blessed him profoundly as he served as music director there during the past 5 years.