EDMOND — Eight-year-old Aidan James Hooper was remembered Monday by family, friends and fellow taekwondo students during funeral services at Oklahoma City's NorthChurch, where he had been baptized.
Aidan was killed Thursday at the conclusion of Edmond's LibertyFest parade. He was run over by one of the wheels on the ATA Karate and Life Skills Training Center float on which he had been riding.
His father, Quinton Hooper, 44, was driving the float, police said.
Quinton Hooper stood during the funeral, turned and bowed to the group of taekwondo athletes sitting together dressed in their white uniforms. In return, they stood and bowed to the grieving father.
Family members said Aidan, who they called Bubba, was full of unbridled energy, curiosity and compassion for others. They said Aidan had a tender, caring heart.
Aidan loved sports; basketball and taekwondo were his favorite. He was a big Oklahoma State University football fan who loved to go to the games.
“We are devastated about the loss of our precious Aidan,” family members said in a statement released by officials at Deer Creek Public School.
“We thank everyone for their outpouring of love, but please ask for privacy as we grieve our child.”
Aidan completed the second grade at Grove Valley Elementary in May.
Classmate Bryson Rouse wrote in a memorial message to the family that Aidan was a good reader, who told lots of jokes and was funny.
Rouse said Aidan told him his father was a hero and had helped people in the tornado.
Aidan was spending his summer with 80 other students, ages 5 to 12, at the YMCA day camp in Edmond. Camp leaders attended the funeral wearing their camp T-shirts.
Counselors were brought to the YMCA after the accident to provide help, said Mike Roark, Edmond YMCA executive director.
“It is a long process,” Roark said. “We will continue to work on it.”