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Colonel Corps

Leader: David McMillan

Retired Colonel Phil Hooper was an American hero, a long time Dickson resident and a member of First Presbyterian Church. As a career officer in the United States Army, he served in the Philippines during World War II, was a pentagon liaison to the White House during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. After retiring from the military, he was hired as a vice-president of the Louisville and Nashville (now CSX) railroad. He and his wife Jane moved to Dickson from Alexandria, Virginia, and in January of 1969 were accepted into membership of the First Presbyterian Church by letter of transfer.

Col. Hooper was what used to be called a “pillar” of the congregation. He dropped in to the minister’s study every week, both giving advice and learning of any needs in the church. He was known for teaching the children how to shake hands properly and at least once, while speaking to the high school graduates, barked, “Get your hands out of your pockets!” That was a bit ironic because everyone in the congregation knew that whenever he addressed a group, his hands were in his pockets fidgeting with his loose change.

To honor his leadership both here and abroad, as well as keep his stories and traditions alive, we started the Colonel Phil Hooper Memorial Men's Group - commonly known as "The Colonel Corps." The men and women of the Corps' primary duty is raising funds by grilling Bar-B-Que chickens for the annual Old Timer's Day parade in May as well as the Relay for Life event in June. Women of the church donate pies, cakes, and other treats to sweeten up the events; not that the men need it - their chickens have won numerous awards.