Hibbs Funeral Home & Cremation Care Center
2190 Harper St
Choctaw, OK 73020
(405) 390-2626
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1934 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
May 28, 1934 - April 30, 2018 CHOCTAW Bob Harper passed away April 30th at the Quality Hospice Care facility after an extended struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. He will be remembered for his devotion to learning and work, as an outstanding provider for his family, a mentor to many, and a great storyteller. Bob was born to Paul and Pauline Harper of Fairfield, IA and felt fortunate to have grown up there. He attributed his later successes to the outstanding teachers and great classmates he had in Fairfield, where he developed a lifelong love for learning and a strong work ethic. In high school he played basketball and tuba, and learned woodworking and welding. In college, in between classes and being a prankster, he was a fireman and chief of the college fire department. He earned his pilot's license in college and eventually flew 28 different aircraft types. During summers he worked two jobs back in Fairfield as a machinist and mechanic, and in 1954 married his high school sweetheart, Analee Galbraith. After graduating from John Brown University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering he began work in aviation as a professional engineer at Tinker AFB. Always busy, he was an auto rebuilder, landlord, hunter, farmer, cattle rancher, arborist (planting thousands of trees), small business owner, homebuilder, executive, and world traveler, visiting over 60 countries. He was a devout scholar, attending classes for 70+ years. He earned an MBA from Oklahoma City University, then an MA in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, where he previously taught as adjunct professor of aeronautical engineering. In 1977, he built a log cabin on Wolf Creek Pass in southwestern Colorado, and spent many summers there with Analee, hosting friends and family. After training in law enforcement he was commissioned in 1982, and spent 17 years as a reserve deputy for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, with 8 years as chief of a reserve patrol unit. He retired from Tinker in 1988 after 32 years of civil service, but continued work as chairman of both Harper Brush Works in Iowa and TxF Products in Texas, also serving two years as CEO and plant manager in Texas. Bob and Analee lived in Midwest City for 38 years, then built a home in Choctaw enjoying rural life until Analee's death, months shy of their 60th anniversary. He spent the last couple years of his life at the Epworth Villa Retirement Community in Oklahoma City. As a final act of generosity, Bob donated his body for medical research. He is survived by his son, David Harper and David's partner Linda Nix, daughters, Carol Jones and Paula Howard and son-in-law Bill Howard. He leaves four grandchildren, Courtney Fairbanks, Cailee Kies, Conner Howard and Ryan Howard; his fourth great-grandchild was born two days before his death. The oldest of five children, he also leaves brothers Bill and Barry Harper and sister Bonny Adams; sister Betty Harper preceded him. The family is grateful to caregiver Debbie Rork, whose tireless devotion ensured Bob spent his last years living with comfort and dignity. A memorial service will be held at 10:00am Saturday, June 2nd, at Hibbs Funeral Home in Choctaw, OK. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cure Alzheimer's Fund, www.curealz.org
Published in The Oklahoman on May 16, 2018
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