Monday, November 5, 2012

A Modern-day Knight: Joshua Pratt Hooper

What is a knight?

A knight is courageous.

He protects the weak, deals swift justice to lawbreakers, and wages a war against evil.

A knight is venerable.

He has the strength to do what he believes is right, no matter the circumstances.

A knight is loyal.

He pledges his service to his Lord.

A knight is courteous.

He adheres to a strict code of honor and practices chivalry.

A knight is brave.

He defends his family, the poor, and his kingdom.

A knight is dedicated.

He works long hours and asks for nothing in return.

A knight is kind, dutiful, honest, selfless, courageous, and noble.

True knights did not pass with the coming of time and the onslaught of technology. They did not die out as candles in the night when empires rose and fell, nor when war and plagues ravished and remolded the earth. They did not fail when countries moved borders or changed leaders. They did not vanish when men no longer read their stories.

However, on November 3, 2012, one of them passed on from this life.

Saturday afternoon I got a call from my father-in-law telling me that my friend, Joshua Pratt Hooper, had been killed in a shooting range incident in Utah’s west desert. He leaves behind his wife of two and a half years and a loving family.

It’s ironic, since just last week my husband and I were talking about how Josh really is a modern-day knight. He is one of the best people I have ever known, and I am grateful to say that he was my friend.

I have no fears for Josh in the life beyond this one—if anyone was prepared to meet his Maker, it was Josh. Josh had no ill bone in his body. He never lost his temper, and he was always ready and willing to help anyone, even those he didn’t know.

He always gave me balloons when I visited him at work.

Josh served his fellow men for 24 years before his God called him back home. I can only begin to imagine what work the Lord has in store for him now.

Rest in peace, Joshua. Until we meet again.

My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten
Because my heart is pure.

When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,
I hear a noise of hymns:
Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice but none are there;

Three angels bear the holy Grail:
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision! blood of God!
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,
And star-like mingles with the stars.

A maiden knight-to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odors haunt my dreams
And, stricken by an angel's hand, 
This mortal armor that I wear, 
This weight and size, this heart and eyes, 
Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air. 

The clouds are broken in the sky, 
And thro' the mountain-walls 
A rolling organ-harmony 
Swells up, and shakes and falls. 
Then move the trees, the copses nod, 
Wings flutter, voices hover clear: 
'O just and faithful knight of God! 
Ride on! the prize is near.' 
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; 
By bridge and ford, by park and pale, 
All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide, 
Until I find the holy Grail. 

-Sir Galahad, by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Read the full poem here.


  1. The news were very shocking and very sad to hear. I will always remember josh as one of the kindest people I have ever known. I remember he used to hang out with the popular guys who weren't very nice, but josh, no he was always wise beyond his years. I never, not once heard him be unkind to anyone. He always treated me so nice. Knight! I think is the perfect word to describe him. My heart reaches out to his family. Till they meet again! I will always remember our friend josh hooper.

  2. What a lovely tribute. I'm sorry for your loss. Josh seems like one of a kind.

  3. Lovely post commemorating his life. I'm so sorry for your and his family's loss.

  4. Charlie, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts are with you right now.

  5. Josh was an amazing guy and I echo you--there is no doubt that he was prepared to meet his Maker. All of my prayers go to his wife--is there anything we can do for her?

  6. Josh was on my mind all weekend. For a guy I knew mostly in passing, I always thought very highly of him. This tribute was beautiful--brought me to tears all over again. He was a wonderful person and my only thought is definitely that the Lord needed him.

    Millions of prayers to his wife. Her sorrow is one I can only imagine and personally dread the idea of. Please, if you can, let her know that there are those of us out here who don't know her but truly are sending her all the love and good thoughts that we can right now.

  7. sorry to hear about your friend. i enjoyed reading your relation between him and a knight. very fitting. thanks for visiting my follower here! hi!

  8. Oh Charlie...

    There is SO MUCH death of late... is it just me??? It's everywhere... and young people taken waaaaay before their time. It's heart breaking. But I too belief that Josh still lives. Thoughts and prayers to his sweet little family...

  9. My condolences to Josh's family and friends who loved him dearly. Your post today is a heart-warming commemoration to him.

  10. Sorry Charlie

    Okay, that sounded hoakey, but the sentiment is sound. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, it's always hard. I wish you peace.

  11. So sorry! What a touching post.

  12. This is beautiful Charlie. Absolutely beautiful.
    I heard about this and it is so sad and heartbreaking. You and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Touching tribute. :)


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