Bruce H. Hooper, 82, of Newtown Square, a philanthropist, history buff and veteran of the Marine Corps, died Thursday, Dec. 12, in Dunwoody Village after a long illness.

Mr. Hooper, formerly of Radnor, grew up in Wynnewood. He graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1948 and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1952, where he was a member of Delta Psi fraternity.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1953 as a naval aviator and later served in the Reserve at the Naval Air Station in Willow Grove. After 11 years in the service, Mr. Hooper joined Interstate Oil Transport, his family's tug and barge business in Philadelphia.

He met Eileen, his wife of 53 years, when she was working as a reservations supervisor for Pan American World Airways' Philadelphia ticket office. Their first date was to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

Mr. Hooper was past president of the Marine Corps University Foundation in Quantico, Va., and a vice-chairman and longtime trustee of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He was a vice president of the Thornton D. and Elizabeth S. Hooper Foundation, a family foundation named for his parents, and a board member of the Please Touch Museum.

In 1983, Mr. Hooper donated a building on 21st Street in Philadelphia to the museum. He dedicated the site to the servicemen who died during the Vietnam War and to those missing in action.

That act made a lasting impression on his son, Lt. Col. William Hooper, a Marine aviator.

"I was just in absolute awe," said Hooper. "All he could think about was those Vietnam veterans who didn't have a chance to become fathers. He was a remarkable individual and generous with not just his money but his time and his work."

Mr. Hooper was also a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, Aronimink Golf Club, and the Edgemere Club in Pike County.

In the early 1990s, the couple funded a mobile mammogram van that traveled to 11 Philadelphia health clinics.

Mr. Hooper also worked with the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Gen. Alfred Gray Marine Corps Research Center, and the Bryn Mawr Hospital continuing education nursing program.

For years, Mr. Hooper also funded spots for 10 local high school students to attend lectures presented by the World Affairs Council of Greater Valley Forge.

In addition to his son and wife, Mr. Hooper is survived by a daughter, Cindy L. Bell; sons Thornton, Bruce, and William; two brothers; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service is set for Saturday, Dec. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at the Wayne United Methodist Church, 210 S. Wayne Ave. Friends may call after 9:30.

Donations may be made to Injured Marine, Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, Calif. 92057.

mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer