A Tribute to Gary Dennis Harper
The December 18, 2018 edition of the Grenada Star published my column honoring Gary Harper, someone who, even in death, remains bigger-than-life to his family and friends. As I started work on the column, I had reached out to Gary's sister Marsha and through the column have also made contact with Rachel Harper McCaulla, Gary's daughter. It is evident that more needs to be shared than my brief column would allow. Both Marsha and Rachel have treasured thoughts and special pictures. Thanks for allowing me to share more with my readers,
Marsha pointed out that Gary had worked from 15 years old until his death at the funeral home. Additionally, Rachel shared articles that point to Gary's tireless fight against drugs in Grenada County and his commitment and close relationship to law enforcement and the work of several drug task forces. Marsha shared, "He never had a desire to move away. He loved working with classmates, planning frequent class reunions, keeping boxes and boxes of notebooks with contacts of classmates." He remained an avid supporter of Grenada baseball throughout his life.
It brought a smile to my face to read of Gary as a dad. Marsha credits Gary with creating the term "Mr. Mom" and says simply, "The big guy was born to be a dad."
Getting to know Rachel through Facebook communication, has only reinforced the truth of Gary being the father that all children should be so fortunate to have. Every thought she shared speaks strongly of the love of her father.
Gary Dennis Harper: 1952-2004...a man for all seasons: a husband, a father, a grandfather, a committed community member, a JRHS classmate.