Florence Eloise Hoover, 101, passed away Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at Amber House at Harmon House in Mount Pleasant, Pa., having enjoyed an exceptionally long and full life. Known to her friends as Eloise and to her extended family as Grammy or Nanny, she was born April 7, 1919, in Milesburg, the daughter of the late Leonard Andrew and Helen Irene (Sliker) Breon.
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Eloise grew up in Axemann and attended the Axemann School. She was a graduate of the Bellefonte High School Class of 1936, where she was a member of the Commercial Club. On September 16, 1936, in Cumberland, Md., she married Rufus N. Hoover, who preceded her in death on July 5, 2005, after 68 years of marriage.
Aptly described as “quiet” in her high school yearbook, Eloise was nevertheless diligent and persistent in all that she did, one of the last of a truly heroic generation of women in American history. After their marriage Eloise and Rufus moved to his boyhood home of Flint, Michigan. Eloise raised their three young children, James, David Thomas, and Norman, while Rufus fought for his country in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. After the war, the young family came back to Axemann where they lived for several years before moving to their permanent home on Gemar Avenue in Pleasant Gap in 1953. Following her father’s sudden death in 1959, Eloise took over his sporting goods store and bowling alley, Breon’s in Bellefonte. In 1964, she and Rufus established Bonanza City, a sporting goods store on North Atherton Street in State College, which they operated for several years.
Eloise enjoyed spending time at her home, going out to eat, and spending time with her family. She also loved camping and had a camper at Hidden Valley Campground for many years. She was able to go camping regularly until 2015. In her later years, she moved to Mount Pleasant, Pa. to be closer to her granddaughter and caregiver, Kim Wiltrout. But Eloise remained fiercely independent and active, driving a car well into her 90s, and freely sharing her wit and humor with family and friends. She thoroughly enjoyed the large gathering of family and friends who came from all over the country to help her celebrate her 100th birthday in 2019.
She is survived by one son, D. Thomas (Phyllis) Hoover of Pleasant Gap; ten grandchildren, Michael A. (Debbie) Hoover of Flint, Mich., Charlene E. (Michael) Rock of Clarkston, Mich., Edward J. (Judy) Hoover of Lapeer, Mich., Larry D. (Mary) Hoover of Flint, Mich., Denise R. (Michael) Thompson of Florida, Dennis W. (Sonya) Hoover of Attica, Mich., Kimberly A. Wiltrout of Mount Pleasant, Pa., Jeffrey L. Hoover of Pleasant Gap, Timothy L. Hoover of Pleasant Gap, and Kelly J. (Jim Bob) Gill of Mill Hall; a former daughter-in-law and close friend, Phyllis E. Hoover; 23 great-grandchildren and 21 great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, Eloise was preceded in death by two sons, James K. Hoover and Norman L. Hoover; a daughter-in-law, Shirley E. Hoover; two grandchildren, Gerald Allen Hoover and Lynda C. Elfstrom; and two brothers, L. Elwood Breon and Warren S. Breon.
There will be a public viewing held on Friday, September 4, 2020, from 9-11 am, at Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc. at 206 N. Spring Street, Bellefonte. A memorial service will immediately follow at the funeral home at 11 am with Pastor Scott Brown officiating. Eloise will be laid to rest at Centre County Memorial Park, College Township.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Amber House at Harmon House, 601 S. Church Street, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666.