A resident of the Louisiana War Veterans Home, Jackson, LA, John Robert Harper passed away on the 6th day of March 2020. He was a native of Port Arthur, TX, then moved with his parents to Boston, MA, where he graduated from high school. After graduation, he worked on a mink ranch for a time in Minnesota, and while there, he took up boxing, entered into the Golden Gloves and won several championships. John was great in all sports such as hockey, baseball, golf, etc… He joined the Army Branch of the United States Military, where he became an 82 Airborne Paratrooper. After his military service ended, he moved to Hammond, LA to attend Southeastern Louisiana University where he graduated. John began his career as a teacher and gymnastics coach at Glen Oaks High School, making his home in Baton Rouge, LA, where he taught for several years while raising a family. He left his teaching profession for employment with the Louisiana Department of Education until his retirement. When he retired, he moved to Lantana, FL, and lived there continuously until illness forced him to return back to his family in Louisiana. John is survived by two sons, Donald Steven Harper and wife, Lori, and Gary Lee Harper and fiancée, Michelle Rhodus; five grandchildren, Kendall Ann, Kaci Lynn, Karli Marie, Gary Lee, and Cori Elizabeth Harper; two great-grandchildren, K.J. and Kensley; and nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death are two sons, Bruce Alton Harper and David John Harper; parents, John Sydney and Jessie Frank McKnight Harper; two sisters, Gloria Harrison and Janet Rachdorf; two brothers, Donald Sidney and Walter Leon Harper. Visitation will be held at Greenoaks Funeral Home, 9595 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, on Friday, March 13, 2020, from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Visitation will resume at Greenoaks on Saturday, March 14, 2020, from 9:00AM until the time of funeral services at 10:00AM. Military burial will immediately follow at Greenoaks Memorial Park. The family would like to thank Louisiana War Vets Home and The Hospice of Baton Rouge for their kind and compassionate care.
Published by The Advocate from Mar. 10 to Mar. 14, 2020.
Mr. Harper was my Gymnastics coach and Driver's Ed teacher at Glen Oaks. To this day, every time I whip into a parallel parking space in 3 precise moves, I say aloud, Thank you Mr. Harper. He was also secretary of his bowling league and during our driving time we would go to Plank Bowl so he could post the weeks results. He would buy us fountain cokes at the bowling alley and we thought we, and he, were hot stuff. He was an incredibly kind and sweet man. My condolences to his family. RIP Mr. Harper.