John Philip Harper

john-p-harper-alaskaJohn Philip Harper was born on May 2nd, 1958 in Memphis, Tennessee.   His father was Donn Herbert Harper, and mother was Margaret McDaniel Harper. He was the youngest child in his family. When John, or “Pete” as known by his friends and family, was old enough to begin his schooling, the family moved to Parma, Ohio. A year after his father’s death in 1971 the family moved to the family homestead in Wadsworth, Ohio. Pete graduated from High School in the late 1970s.

John was a industrious, adventurous young man, who lived in several places across the United States, including Texas, Washington, Alaska and the State of Hawaii before getting his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Western Washington University. He had a love of the sea, and biology. He loved the state of Alaska best of all his destinations. He was drawn to it’s great natural beauty and the sparse population, and regularly talked about how it was “God’s Country.” He pursued the development of a Salmon farm, and worked on Fishing Boats, and as a Biologist who could determine the environmental impact of proposed pipe lines, or other major construction projects.

From the 1990s to 2004, John bought land, and established an Oyster farm business, with several friends and his brother Doug (William D.), who moved to Alaska from California. The business was called Sea Otter Sound Seafoods, Inc. and for several years his family heard tales of how most of any profit they earned would be placed back into growing the little oyster spat, out in the warm currents of the ocean waters in South East Alaska. In 2004 he became a Merchant Seaman, and eventually sold his Oyster Farm business.

John was married in 2009 to Girlyn Flores Mejorada (“Lyn”), who blessed him with a son in late 2010. John had many dear friends in Alaska, and is survived by his wife, Lyn, and his son, Donn Patrick. He also has three living siblings, Donna, William and Herbert (“Chris”), all from Wadsworth, OH.  He was well loved by his nieces, Shelah, Katherine, Paula, and Emily.

A few days before his death, Pete was hospitalized briefly and diagnosed with a brain tumor. Thoughts of his many precious friends at the Seafarer’s International Union, in Wadsworth and in Alaska, were precious to him, and he shared them during his last few days. For those who would like to pray, Pete was most concerned for his wife, Lyn, and for his son, Donn Patrick; that he would become a man of integrity and would learn the value of study and of hard work.

His friends are welcome to visit with Pete’s family at a brief Open House, from 1pm-2:30pm on Saturday at 133 Highland Ave., Wadsworth, OH, if they are in the area. A gathering to say goodbye at the gravesite in Woodlawn Cemetery will be held at 3 PM on Saturday, the 18th of April.

John had a rich and full life. It was cut short too soon, and we will all miss him.

8 Responses to “John Philip Harper”

  • Janet Akers says:

    Hard to believe that Pete is no longer with us on Earth. I still have my “Rose colored Glasses” Petey! RIP

  • Debby Wood Starr Sturges says:

    R.I.P. Dear Soul

  • Jim morrison says:

    Pete was a very dear friend growing up in Wadsworth. We shared a lot of adventure, interests, and general good times. Even though we lost contact sometime in the 80’s, I thought about him over the years. Glad to read he ended up in Alaska, that seems appropriate for the buddy I knew.

    Rest in peace buddy, and strength to your family. I’m sure you are deeply missed.

    Jim Morrison

  • Nancy Farr says:

    Pete was the best! Remember hanging out at his house in Wadsworth….Peace out, Pete…

  • Jerry Platz says:

    Pete & I had SO many wild times together back in the day…way too many to list.
    The last time I saw him was when he came down for a brief visit. Naturally we spent much time reminiscing and laughing about our shenanigans.
    I just talked with him a few months ago…sigh.

  • Liz O'Grady says:

    Donna,
    My condolence to you and all who loved your brother Pete. Sorry for your loss.
    Liz O’Grady

  • Bill Crowley says:

    Most of my memories of Pete are from my grade school days when he and Brian were full of life. He was one of those guys you don’t forget. He cared for everyone and I am glad to have known him. Pete was good at keeping Brian up to date on his adventures. Brian still loves to tell stories of Pete. Thank you, Donna, for coming to tell Brian in Person. We will keep you all, especially Lyn and Donn Patrick, in our thoughts and prayers.

  • rob ellebruch says:

    rest easy pete see ya on the otherside

Leave a Reply

Don't bother to "Speak ill of the dead." It will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE