Joseph "Joe" Benjamin HarperJuly 18, 1925 ~ June 28, 2017 (age 91)
Joseph (Joe) Benjamin Harper, a resident of Nampa, Idaho, was born to George Harper and Elizabeth (Bessie) Drybread Harper in Cherryvale, Kansas. He was the third of seven children born into the home of a pastor with the Church of the Nazarene. Joe departed this life on June 28, 2017 at the age of 91 years at Grace Assisted Living in Nampa.
Joe had a very full and blessed life. After graduating high school at Minneapolis, Kansas in 1943, Joe volunteered to serve our country in the U.S. Navy. Trained in the operation and repair of engines used in Landing Crafts, Joe served in the Pacific during WWII aboard the LCI-642 and LCI-650 gaining the rank of Motor Machinist First Class. He received an honorable discharge in 1946.
In September 1946, Joe enrolled in Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) in Nampa, but after 3 semesters he moved to Los Angeles where he attended the Hemphill Diesel school. He also trained for 2 years at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
While at NNC, Joe met Dolores Mickelberry, also known as Micky, but Joe called her Mick. They wed on December 22, 1949, in the first formal wedding held in the newly built College Church of the Nazarene. This union lasted 63 years until February 2013 when Dolores went home to be with her Lord. Two daughters were born to this union.
Joe worked as a diesel mechanic in Denver, Colorado. In 1966, the Harpers moved to Nampa where Joe was the mechanic instructor at the Marsing Job Corps Center. He led two different student crews to second place in the national Plymouth Troubleshooting Competition. In March 1977, Joe was injured in an accident at the Job Corps that ended his working years.
Joe has had various hobbies through the years including photography, amateur gunsmithing, and ammo reloading. Joe was also an avid fisherman and hunter. His great passion, though, was amateur (ham) radio, a hobby he started in 1964. His two ham radio call signs were WA7GSM and K7CBA. Joe and his wife also opened their home to students from the Job Corps and NNC/NNU students over the years. Many of the college students just came to enjoy a meal, but some of them also lived in the Harper’s home.
The Harpers enjoyed visiting many friends and relatives on extended trips around the country. Joe was also an avid supporter of the NNU Crusaders basketball teams and the Skyview High School Hawks basketball teams. He found special friends among the Hawk’s varsity girl’s teams and coaches throughout the years.
Joe is survived by two daughters, Jodie (Phil) Pinckard of El Dorado, Arkansas and Joye (Pat) McCown of Calico Rock, Arkansas; three grandchildren, Heather (Larry) Willis of El Dorado, Arkansas, Cameron (Robin) McCown of Meridian, and Amelia McCown, known to family as Amy, of Meridian; and two great-grandchildren, Alexis and Brooklyn Willis of El Dorado, Arkansas. He is also survived by two sisters, Ruth Green of Battle Ground, Washington and Martha Walker of Fowler, Kansas; and one brother, Paul Harper of Smith Center, Kansas as well as nieces and nephews and many wonderful friends who became a part of his family.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, two brothers, John Harper and Mark Harper, and one sister, Mary Ann Biddulph, as well as two grandsons, Mark Wesley Pinckard, age 18 in 2002, and Nicholas Andrew McCown, age 4 months in 1995.
The family wants to thank Mike and Carol Poe, Walt Wrzesinski, Amy McCown, Jeff Curtis, Dan and Jill Nogales, Harry & Diane Bras, Terri Slemmer, Coach Cindy Pasta, Abby Pasta-McGee, and the Skyview High School varsity girl’s basketball teams throughout the years for all the help and support you gave Joe the last few years. Thank you to the staff, med-techs, and caregivers at Grace Assisted Living and the staff of Heart 'n Home Hospice.
The family will greet loved ones and friends for a time of visitation at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – 442-8171 on Sunday evening, July 2, 2017 from 5 – 7 PM. A Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM on Monday, July 3, 2017 at the Nampa Funeral Home with military honors by personnel from the US Navy. Burial will take place at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 1 PM. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Dolores Harper Nursing Scholarship Fund at Northwest Nazarene University, 623 W. University Blvd., Nampa, Idaho 83686.
73 (Best Regards in ham lingo). K7CBA signing off.