Lecture Series to Honor Former Nashua Resident, Elinor Williams Hooker

ElinorElinor W. Hooker (July 10, 1933 -January 27, 2012), a long time New Hampshire resident and activist, was born July 10, 1933 in Pittsburgh, PA, daughter of the late Dr. Ulysses Williams and Louise G. Williams. The family’s Pittsburgh home was near Wylie Avenue an active community of black businesses, jazz music and churches, a location that would shape her lifelong interest in multicultural activities.

Mrs. Hooker was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in French and English. She taught English in Junior and Senior High Schools in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, PA, Brockton and Quincy, MA and Concord, NH and served as a tutor in the English as a Second Language Program at Nashua’s Pennichuck Junior High.

As a community activist, she volunteered with several groups including the Nashua Multicultural Committee and served as scholarship chairperson and assistant treasurer for the New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity. During her tenure she chaired art exhibits by black artists and black performing artists. Elinor was a strong advocate of cultural diversity and Teaching Tolerance in schools base on the programs developed by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Elinor was the wife of Thomas L. Hooker, who served from 1966 to 1974 as Director of the New Hampshire Division of Welfare. Shortly after moving to New Hampshire in 1966, Elinor and husband Tom became aware of Valerie Cunningham’s research on the history of blacks in New Hampshire. Both became supporters of PBHT and were interested in its growth.