Douglas Hooper, a prominent real estate broker in southern Maine who dedicated his life to helping others, died unexpectedly on Monday. He was 58.

Mr. Hooper worked in the industry for 30 years, most recently as sales manager at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate. He was also a popular instructor at the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate in Westbrook.

Though he earned great accolades throughout his career, what defined Mr. Hooper was his volunteer work. He was active in numerous organizations, including Toys for Tots and the Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset.

“His life motto was service to others,” said his daughter, Heather Uva, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “He never slept. He was so excited about life. He was so passionate about all the things he was doing to help people.”

At the age of 16, Mr. Hooper became a single father and a high school dropout. His daughter shared one heart-wrenching story after another.

“We led a life of extreme poverty,” she said. “When I was very young, 5 or 6 years old, there were times we were homeless. One summer, we lived on a campground at Sebago Lake and slept in the back of his pickup truck. He started with nothing. To watch the progression of his life was remarkable.”

Mr. Hooper became a dishwasher, then a maintenance man for Danforth Heights apartments in Portland. He and his daughter lived there for a brief time.

He eventually saved some money and qualified for a loan to buy a fixer-upper in Limerick. He worked on the house for about two years while working and taking care of his daughter, parents, his brother and a nephew.

“He was the glue that held the family together,” his daughter said.

Mr. Hooper sold the house in Limerick for a small profit and moved to Biddeford. He got his real estate license in the late 1980s and bought a Coldwell Banker franchise in Saco. He was designated broker. He worked for various agencies through the years.

In 2010, Mr. Hooper joined Prudential Northeast Properties, which is now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate. Most recently, he served as sales manager of its Freeport location.

Sherrie Benner, a friend and broker at Berkshire Hathaway, said he went above and beyond as both a manager and broker.

“The man was a pillar in the real estate community,” Benner said. “We could call him any time of the day. He was there for everyone. … His past clients were his friends. He went out of his way to help them. He made each feel like they were his only client. It didn’t matter if he showed them 100 properties. He would show them as many as he needed to find the right property for them.”

Mr. Hooper taught real estate classes at the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate for more than a decade.

Mr. Hooper founded a local Toys for Tots chapter and had been a member of the Rotary Club of Saco Bay since 1990. On March 1, 2016, he co-founded the Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset.

Dennis Robillard, co-founder of the club, said Mr. Hooper was always there to volunteer. Recently, he and other Rotarians volunteered at the baseball park in Old Orchard Beach.

“He was a doer,” Robillard said. “When he gave you his word, it was done. He was a true Rotarian through and through.”

A celebration of his life was held Friday evening at Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home 365 Main St. in Saco.

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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