Richard Paul Harper died Aug. 25, 2008, at his home in Hayden, after a lengthy illness. He was 73.
Richard was born June 24, 1935, in Craig, the son of Floyd P. and Georgia Ellen (Johnson) Harper. He was raised in Craig, Mount Harris and Hayden, where he graduated from high school in 1948. Richard served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Richard married Clora Leone "Sit" Bennett Dec. 20, 1959, in Hayden. They became the parents of three children, and Richard worked for Peabody Coal as a miner, and later as an oiler on the dragline. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking and traveling to Black Hawk or Wendover to gamble. He was a member of the United Mine Workers of America, and his bowling league.
He is survived by his wife Clora "Sit" Harper of Hayden; daughter Terrie Marquis, and her husband Tony, of Canton, Ill.; sons Rick Harper, and his wife Sandra Brown, and Bud Harper, and his wife Billie Jo, all of Hayden; grandchildren Josh Marquis, Bailey and Brittany Harper, Levi Swingdorf, Mandy Fenhaus, Blair Brown, Dawn Rae Scaramazzo and Talyn Godwin; great-grandchildren Cheyenne and Tara Swingdorf, Kealy Fenahus, Kayden and Dante Scaramazzo; sisters Lorene Lee, of Hayden, and Dolores Allen, of Sudan, Kan.; brothers Donald Harper, of Salem, Ore., and Joe Harper of Craig; numerous nieces and nephews; and his companion Bulldozer, an English Bulldog.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Georgia Harper; sisters Rayma Harper and Edna Shepard; and his brothers Doyle, Clovis, Cecil, Jimmy, Harold and Johnny.
A funeral was held Tuesday at Mission of Grace Church in Hayden with Pastor Douglas Zirkle officiating. Loretta Earle sang "I'll Fly Away" and "I Can Only Imagine" accompanied by Debbie Rudd on the piano, and "What a Way to Spend Forever." Pallbearers were Chencho Salazar, Joe Salazar, Eldon Hinkle, Jim Mann, Melvin Richardson and Tony Marquis. Honorary pallbearers were Edwin Hinkle, Hal Bennett, Pete Lopez, Frank Franco, Mike Letlow, Andy Bennett, Josh Marquis and John Ball. Interment followed in the Hayden Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Hayden Ambulance Service in care of Grant Mortuary.